Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme captain and Barbados’ top central-defender Ricardo Morris has landed a professional football contract with Wairarapa United in New Zealand.
Having had a semi-professional stint last year in the United States with Tulsa Athletics Football Club, Morris, currently on suspension by the Barbados Football Association for alleged indiscipline, is just happy to put all that behind him and ply his trade outside the country.
Morris left Barbados yesterday for New Zealand where he will be joined by Crane and Equipment Ellerton captain, Shaquille Belle, in a few weeks’ time.
Morris was elated with his first ever professional break which came about through former Barbados national player Paul Ifill who saw his potential on videos and offered him a contract.
Explaining how the opportunity to take his career to the next level came about, Morris said: “I have been in contact with Paul Ifill [who has ten caps and six international goals for Barbados] for the past two years talking about coming over and playing for them. He then proceeded to write the Barbados Defence Force saying he was pleased with what he has seen during various video clips of me playing and the fact that I captained various national teams. So, they offered me a contract, I applied for my visa and everything else fell into place. So, I really want to thank Paul for giving me the opportunity to play professionally.”
With 31 caps and one international goal to his name, Morris intends to take one opportunity at a time where his career was concerned.
“Initially my goal was to play in the Major League Soccer but at this stage of my career it is my intention to take one opportunity at a time because I need to take care of my mom. Everything I do now is for my mom since my dad passed away. So if I could choose a number when I go there to play it will be number forty-four which was his date of birth [age]. That is where I am basing my career around right now.
“I have a lot more football ahead of me, I am still young and have a lot to contribute. Last year was a very humbling year for me because I had a lot of injuries, where I was in one month, out another month, so it was really challenging for me. But the key goal was to recover fast enough to play in Grenada which I did and was really pleased about even though I was not happy with my overall game last year at Tulsa FC. This year it is my intention to work harder and produce a lot more results.”
Unsure about when his suspension will be lifted and having had to sit out last Sunday’s international friendly match against Bermuda at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex, Morris said: “I was disappointed about not being able to represent Barbados in Barbados which I have done for the last seven to eight years. So that was the only regret I had and there was a lot of questions coming from football fans when they saw me not playing. But I am happy to see couple youngsters getting the opportunity to play and now I am off to New Zealand and they are not going to bring me back for the friendlies, so it is good for the youngsters to get the exposure.”