X Factor Taranaki

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


                 Morgan Hall                                                           Bradley Hickling

If it is creativity and flair that you are after, then Team Taranaki may well be the place to come and get your fill in 2013. The addition of two of the most talented young players to come out of the region in recent years is a real boost to the prospects of the team this season and adds a dynamic combination of attacking potential.

Brad returns to senior representative football after a two year absence playing for the very successful NPR club in New Plymouth and being one of the stand out players during that time. Having first represented Team Taranaki at Central League level, Bradley went on to play a season at Lower Hutt and now returns to the side aged 22 years old, a more mature footballer with added variety to his game.

Bradley adds an exciting attacking flair with the ability to score goals and the flexibility of playing in a number of positions. Converted to a left back for most of last season, he still scored 26 league goals to help Rangers to a treble winning season and a superb run in the Chatham Cup. Coach Ian McGrath commented that "Brad is unique as a player within the squad. He has exceptional pace, quick feet and the ability to beat opponents with ease. He is technically very good, but I have also noticed a maturity about his play, an increased range of passing and someone who is clearly enjoying his football".

During his last year at Francis Douglas Memorial College, Morgan Hall was offered a week long trial with Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen F.C. Following that trial period, the Scottish Premier League club arranged for him to play with one of their feeder clubs and short stints followed with both Peterhead in Division 2 and Montrose in Division 3.

Aberdeen continued to monitor his development and after a short stint overseas, he resumed training with Montrose, when Highland League side Inverurie Loco Works F.C. offered him a contract to play in their under 21 side. Morgan enjoyed a very successful first season, scoring on debut and becoming an established member of the team. 

Towards the end of the season Morgan sustained a knee injury which restricted his appearances until midway through the following season. On his return to the team, he continued  to impress with with a string of performances that earned him a first team contract for the start of the 2011/12 season.

Unfortunately, during pre season training the knee problems returned and Morgan came home to New Zealand to continue his rehabilitation. An unsuccessfull start to the 2012 season followed at Central League team Lower Hutt as injuries continued to restrict his involvement in the game.

Morgan commented "I have had a couple of years disruption following a really good experience playing football at a high level in Scotland. I just want to start playing regulalry again and show Taranaki what I can do on the pitch. I can not wait to play at Puke Park this season and try to help the team to win the league".

Coach Ian McGrath is well aware of Morgan's potential and said " he has a range of passing and a level of vision and awarenss that makes him a very creative and gifted player. He can control the tempo of the game, create chances for other players and score goals himself. He can play in midfield or up front and can shoot from distance very accurately".