Morton bows out on a high
Scott Morton has stepped down as coach of PHC Zebras after three seasons to focus on his role as assistant coach of Bermuda during the build up towards the Gold Cup this summer.
Morton celebrated the Zebras’ record eleventh league title at PHC Field yesterday after informing his players of his decision.
He did express disappointment, however, that he was unable to lead PHC one final time as their opponents Paget Lions forfeited the match because they were unable to field a team.
Paget, who have been relegated, informed the Bermuda Football Association late on Friday that they would be unable to fulfil the fixture.
“I can’t even describe the words of disappointment I have for Paget right now,” said Morton after his team was presented the trophy by Mark Wade, the BFA president, and the man who Morton succeeded in 2016 when he took the reins at PHC.
“To be able to disrespect the league like that, to not show up, or have their players available, that’s unacceptable for me.
“Football is bigger than whatever they think it is. Those players need to find a way to make the commitment just like they have all season, and to keep the standard and the integrity of football alive.
“It doesn’t do anything for this type of celebration; it could be them in the future. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t like it to happen to them. Our players were looking forward to be able to play the match. This is bigger than PHC or Paget, this is Bermuda football and for the youngsters coming behind us.”
PHC were awarded a 3-0 win to finish with one point more than they collected in their title-winning season last campaign.
“It could have been better in our play but thanks to our youth programme and the young players who carried us through,” Morton said.
“We had a few injuries and people going overseas, but it just shows the strength in the programme. Pretty much we were leading from the first game of the season right up to the end, so a lot of credit to the players and their belief and the importance they saw in representing the club.”
Morton led the team to seven trophies in three seasons, back-to-back league, Friendship Trophy and Charity Cup titles and one FA Cup, which he achieved in his first season in 2016-17. “This is my last game for PHC; I told the players this morning when we had a practice match,” Morton added.
“There are new challenges for me, but I feel I have left the club in good standing. When I came to the club they had a good foundation which allowed me to build and make the improvements that were needed.
“There was a lot of thought about it [the decision] and it wasn’t easy because everything is here as far as the organisation and the structure. It was a dream job for me to come in and concentrate on just coaching with everything else taken care of.
“My hat goes off to PHC; I give thanks to them for every single thing they did for me, which allowed this team to progress. I’ll just be focusing on my assistant’s job with the national programme.”