Albie Morgan on the season so far, his journey through the academy and how Valley Gold has helped his development at Charlton.
Speaking to Valley Gold, the young midfielder reflected on a tough start to the season.
He said: “The start of the season was difficult, I couldn’t get in the team and I was struggling to get minutes.
“But since then it’s been good. I manage to really kick on after the Fleetwood game. I played well and that was our sixth or seventh win on the bounce. Ever since then I’ve been doing well and trying to keep as consistent as possible. I want to just keep on racking up the games.”
Having been trusted to come on with the team behind at home to Rochdale last month, Morgan explained how he has earned the trust of his manager this season. The Addicks came back from behind to draw in a thrilling 4-4 match at The Valley.
“If this was last season or the year before maybe it wouldn’t have been me to come on at half-time, maybe there wasn’t that trust there as I was so young.” he said.
“Now I’ve earned that trust and proved I can do it. Not just me personally but the whole team, the way we fought back showed great team spirit and we look at it thinking we should have won that game. For me personally, it shows how far I’ve come. I can come on in games where we are behind or even need to keep a lead, I can be trusted in those situations.”
The youngster signed his first professional contract in 2018, having come through the academy at Sparrows Lane and Morgan was keen to heap praise upon those who had been influential in his journey, including the Valley Gold supporters.
“I’ve had a lot of support. I can’t name every member of the coaching team, all of the staff, because there’s too many. I’ve needed that support sometimes, that kick up the bum to stay on track and not lose focus. There’s times I could have gone off track but there are people who kept me focused. I have to now keep those standards” he said.
“In terms of Valley Gold, what sticks out to me is the Cayman Island trip I went on at Under 13 level. Valley Gold had a lot to do with organising that. The team going away to such an unreal place. At the time I didn’t even know where it was and it was such an incredible place and a great trip. That wouldn’t have been possible without Valley Gold.”
Since coming through the academy, Morgan has had role models aplenty to look up to and the youngster reflected on the players he has learned from the most.
He said: “Pratley and Watson have been the main ones this season. The games they’ve played at the top level – from Premier League to the Championship. It’s great to learn from them, I’ll always try and do that on and off the pitch.
“I look at what they do and try and replicate it. The careers they’ve had, if I could even have half of that I’d be happy! They always look out and try to support me, they’ll pull me for a chat and help me improve. I’m always open to those chats and I try and listen to what they have to say.”
Upon his promotion to the first team, Morgan explained what helped him settle in with the squad.
He said: “I had Karlan (Grant) and George (Lapslie). I was able to feed off them and they gave me support to help me feel more welcome. I felt more comfortable talking to them as they were more my age. Coming through with players like that it’s a big help, it makes things a lot easier.”
“You look at the first team and there are older players that you’ve never played with before and you think maybe I’ll struggle to fit in. It’s not just the youngsters but the older players also help. The players that are more your age, who have taken the same pathway as you – that makes it reassuring. You can fit in with them.”
Whilst the academy graduate becomes an even more influential figure in the squad, and sees his playing time increase, he had a message for the fans who are unable to attend matches this season.
“Be patient for now. Hopefully, as soon as it is safe to do so you can be back as soon as possible. The support at home doesn’t go unnoticed. We see the messages on social media. We see them tuning in to Valley Pass and we appreciate them watching us and supporting us.” he said.
“As soon as they’re allowed back it will be a relief for them and for us as players too. That support on the pitch is always needed, we don’t enjoy playing in the quiet and without the fans. It’s nice to have noise and atmosphere. As soon as they’re allowed back in it will be great for football.”