|Nasief Morris © Backpagepix
Veteran defender Nasief Morris is back at ‘home’ with the ‘People’s Team’ where it all began for him and ready to plough back his experience in helping the People’s Team to calmer waters.
The former Bafana Bafana defender brings wealth of experience having played in the world’s top arenas and against the biggest stars in an illustrious career.
Morris began his career at the tender age of 16 when he debuted for the Cape side back in 1997, then as a right back.
The elegant defender soon earned a move to Greece, playing firstly for Aris FC and then for Panathinaikos, where he cemented his place and really made a name for himself with the popular club.
He played over 150 games for the Greek giants, including several memorable appearances on the ultimate stage in club football - the European Champions League.
Following that, the 30-year-old spent two seasons in what some people consider the world’s best league – Spain’s La Liga – with Recreativo de Huelva, and then Racing Santander.
A brief spell in Cyprus followed, before he was lured back to join Gavin Hunt’s SuperSport United, with the player now completing the full circle after moving to Santos on loan for the remainder of this season.
PSL.co.za caught up with the Manenberg-born centre back to get his thoughts on:
The Early Days At Santos
“I have great memories from those times, getting the chance as a youngster to rise through the ranks and play for the first team.
“That’s why it is so exciting for me to be back to where it all started and to have the chance to make another contribution.
“Farouk Abrahams was the one that gave me the chance, assisting me in rising from the club’s development side into the first team.
“I was lucky enough to play under some great managers – people like Budgie Byrne, Clive Barker, David Byrne, Steve Haupt.
“I also played with some outstanding players, such as Edries Burton (now the club’s COO), Shakes Kungwane, Musa Otieno (current technical team member), Jerome McCarthy, Gerald Stober. The current coach, Duncan Crowie, was also still playing.”
“I was fortunate enough to be over there for some time, so I got to play against nearly all of the continent’s top sides.
“Playing against players like Ronaldinho, Messi and Iniesta are special experiences I’ll never forget, to play in those stadiums was amazing. Unfortunately I never got to play against Manchester United as I was on the bench for that game.
“But one of my best memories was when we played against Arsenal, with Thierry Henry in his prime, and we managed to come away with a draw, a 2-2 I think it was, in a match in which I felt I had a good game.”
On Wayne Arendse (a player that also made his Santos debut as a 16-year-old right back before becoming a mainstay at centre-back)
“I’ve enjoyed training with Wayne and think he is a top quality player. He is a player who should have had his chance in the national team two or three years ago.
“I’m looking forward to playing with him and hopefully he can benefit by gaining some of the knowledge and experience that I have.”