Scott Morton appointed new head coach of Somerset Trojans
Scott Morton is excited to be returning to club coaching next season after being confirmed this week as the new coach of Somerset Trojans, replacing Jomar Wilkinson, who was relieved of his duties after only one season in the job.
Morton has not coached at club level since 2019 when he stepped down after three trophy-laden seasons at PHC Zebras, which yielded back-to-back league, Friendship Trophy and Charity Cup titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He led the team to the FA Cup in his first season in 2016-17.
“The reason I stepped down was because, for me, my time was done there, I didn’t feel I could take the team any farther,” Morton said of his decision to step away from the PHC job.
“Winning a lot of trophies made players complacent and I didn’t see the same work ethic. I needed to start a new chapter and I think they needed to hear a different voice.”’
Before that, Morton led North Village to back-to-back Premier Division titles between 2001 and 2003 and was named Coach of the Year in 2001-02. He has won that award four times, including in 2018 after leading PHC to four trophies, the first time the club had achieved that in a single season since 1989-90.
Now, after three years away from domestic football, Morton is ready to get involved again as he continues as one of the BFA national coaches.
“I’m looking forward to take on a project like Somerset, knowing their history and their culture,” Morton said. “I like those types of challenges, as you can see from my two previous jobs at North Village and PHC.
“I have the under-23 national men’s team now and what I didn’t want to do is, with the tournaments or matches we plan on playing next year, to go into that position cold.
“I wanted to keep my fingers on the pulse, keep my tools sharp. In order to do that you should be coaching, so I spent last season scouting players for the under-23s while, at the same time after half of the season, deciding that I needed to get back into coaching.
“While scouting players, I looked at which team would suit what my objectives are. Then, once meeting with the teams to see whether their objectives and mine are aligned with one another.”
Morton added: “I looked at a few different teams, the players, the staff and the way they operate on game days. Their whole programme, not just the seniors!”
Morton admits Somerset feels like a good fit for him. “For me the Somerset project was better in alignment with where I’m trying to go with the under-23s,” he said.
“They have an excellent backroom staff already in place, the team behind the team, which is critical for long-term successful teams. Somerset haven’t been in that top tier for a long time, but before that Somerset was always a feared team.”
Somerset are one of the island’s top clubs, but they have been without silverware since winning the Friendship Trophy in 2016. The Premier Division title came the previous season.
However, Morton emphasised that it is more about just winning trophies for him. “That is just a by-product of your work and the sacrifices that you put in place,” he said.
“First and foremost for me is developing and improving players. Second, how many players can I get the national coach to look at or invite to train? It’s about Bermuda football for me, club football second.”
Morton, who has signed a three-year contract, will have an experienced support team that includes Dennis Brown, Danvers Seymour Jr, Larry Smith and Mark Trott. Jensen Rogers, coach of Somerset Eagles last season and a former Trojans player, will be Somerset’s assistant coach.
Brown, the technical director at Somerset, is pleased with the appointment of Morton, who is well respected domestically.
“On behalf of the club we welcome someone of the pedigree of Scott Morton to our organisation,” Brown said. “He brings a level of experience and knowledge as well as professionalism to the programme, so we’re glad to have him as our head coach for the upcoming season.
“One thing about appointments is both parties have to be happy, so after a couple of meetings with Scott, the club was happy in relation to what he brought forth and he was happy with what the club brought forth to him. It was a win-win for both parties.”
Brown was coach of the team up to two years ago when he stepped down for health reasons and was replaced by Wilkinson, who coached the team last season as they finished fifth in the standings to qualify for the Dudley Eve Trophy.
“Before my time and during my time we were very successful, but the club has dropped off a bit,” said Brown, a former captain.
“The team has made steady progress in the last couple of years, but now it is time for someone to take the team to another level, and Scott has the proven pedigree, winning at North Village and also being successful at PHC.
“It takes more than just to say you want to win. It takes a process to get to the end product, so we’re very confident that Scott is going to lay a good foundation, put the team through the process. After that it becomes the product and we’re looking forward to that.
“The community is very excited about the appointment; people are really looking forward to what he brings to the table.”