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Tashreeq Morris

Mon 11 Dec by Nick Said

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The dearth of quality forwards in the Premier Soccer League is plain for all to see, but the return to fitness of Ajax Cape Town striker Tashreeq Morris provides another opportunity for potentially one of the most promising.Morris is another player off the Ikamva conveyor-belt of talent and after making his PSL debut at the age of 19, there were many that believed he would be in Europe by now.But crippling injuries in the last two years, the first of which was picked up in the 2015 Nedbank Cup final, has stunted his progress and left him needing to rebuild his career.Since making his return to full fitness, he has been entrusted with leading the Ajax line this season.Three goals is a modest return, but his all-round game is one that brings others into the play and he is starting to show again why he was tipped as a teenager to have such a bright future.For Morris, it is just a relief to be back on the pitch and injury-free.  “I’m happy with my fitness and happy that I have not been injured having been out for quite some time in the last two years,” Morris told TAB SPORTS NETWORK. “I didn’t play many games in that period, I had my ACL done, and I had osteitis pubis [a hip injury], which is a very rare injury. I struggled coming from that.“Obviously as a striker you want to score goals. I haven’t scored much yet, I know I can do much better and score more goals for the team.”For the young player, sitting on the sidelines and watching Ajax struggle has been hard, and he admits to many dark days while he went through rehabilitation.“It’s been tough, it took a lot from me, the rehab, and the physiotherapy. It’s not nice for a footballer to come in to work to do rehab every day, you want to be out on the field with the guys.“You do your rehab and just sit there, watching the guys train, it takes a lot from you emotionally. But I feel like I have come back stronger, fitter and personally I think a better player than I was before.”Proving fitness and getting a season under his belt without further injury top his current priority list, but at the age of 23 he is also keen to make up for lost time.“The ultimate dream is to play abroad, but my personal goals go hand-in-hand with the team at the moment. We need goals and I want to score them, then the results will come.”Morris believes that PSL strikers, including himself, are not consistent enough, hot one week, cold the next, and that is why they struggle to reach any great heights.“I personally think it is a consistency problem with regards strikers in the South African league. If you look at the leagues in Europe, you will see every season it is the same guys up there.“Whereby in South Africa it differs from season to season. In England you will see a top striker like Harry Kane, will be there for three seasons in a row. Here you will have a different name up there.“As a striker you tell yourself you need to score, there is pressure, but I cannot put more pressure on myself, it may effect my performance.”Morris made his debut for Ajax against SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup in October 2013, but came to the attention of PSL fans in his second game a month later when he scored the winner in a 1-0 league success over Kaizer Chiefs.