19 July 2017 – Michael Morton was enjoying his end of the season holiday break when he got a national team call-up for the second leg clash of the 2018 CHAN qualifier against Botswana, which will take place on Saturday, 22 July 2017.
The match will be played at the Moruleng Stadium in the North West Province at 15h00.
The Supersport United midfielder wasted no time and cut short his holiday to replace teammate Teboho Mokoena who had been recalled by his club.
“We were on holiday in Zanzibar because Supersport United had given us only ten days holidays so we went down there to get some downtime. But when the call came we were quick to change flights and head back, so its worth it,” said Morton.
“It’s amazing, it is always wonderful to get a call up to Bafana Bafana. I am proud again to be here. It means everything for every player to put on the South African jersey. It is almost like the highlight of your career. Every time it happens, it is something you remember, it is something you will keep for the rest of your life so I am extremely happy,” added Morton.
He is no stranger to the senior men’s national team. The last time he was here was October 2015 when Bafana Bafana faced Angola in the CHAN qualifiers – South Africa lost both matches 0-2 and 2-1 respectively.
“Similar circumstances – back in the CHAN again but pretty much a full calendar, so I am very excited to be here,” he said.
Morton missed the first leg in Botswana, but is proud of the work done by his compatriots. He arrived in camp on Monday, 17 July – the same day Bafana Bafana returned from Botswana where they had scored a 2-0 win over the host nation.
“The guys did very well in the first leg, we just need to wrap it up at home. We want to win the game, but proceeding to the next round is the most important thing,” said Morton.
This time around he is reunited with his former Stuart Baxter.
“It doesn’t even feel like a former coach, because he was coaching us about three weeks ago, so it is weird to think of it like that. But it’s nice to be back in the setup, his ways are very familiar and something I should be able to take on easily,” he said.
“Stuart’s ways are almost set in stone, you know exactly what you are going to get and what he expects from you. I think for the guys that have worked with him he is an easy character to work with, and the guys that are coming in will learn pretty quickly because he is a very good teacher and it is easy to adapt to his methods.”
National team debut: v Angola, CHAN qualifier, 17 October 2015
Last game played: v Angola, CHAN qualifier, 24 October 2015
Caps per club: SuperSport United 2
Versatile player who can feature in defence or midfield, it is the latter where he is mostly found these days. Started his career at Orlando Pirates in the 2008/09 season but then spent two successful seasons on loan at Bidvest Wits. Morton was signed for Maritzburg United, where he captained the club, and spent another solid three seasons. He moved to SuperSport United ahead of the 2014/15 campaign. He was born in Blairgowrie, Johannesburg.
National Team Games Statistics
17 October 2015 vs Angola
24 October 2015 vs Angola
Sourced from the SAFA website.