A FORMER Newport County AFC youth player is making his mark as a professional in Swedish football. Alex Morgan, a 21-year-old utility player from Newport, played for his hometown club until the age of 17 before being offered a football scholarship in North Carolina.

After one season playing in NCAA Division Two in the USA he was offered a scholarship in Vancouver.

And after two years in Canada the young globetrotter travelled to Sweden where he signed with Malmö City FC in Division Three.

Then, at the start of 2013, he was offered a trial with LB07, also known as IF Limhamn Bunkeflo, in Division One and he has now signed a professional contract with the club for one season.

“Playing Division One football in Sweden makes me one of few Welshmen playing at a professional level outside of the UK, something I am very proud of,” said Morgan, who featured in the Argus back in 2002 at the age of 10 after winning Manches-ter United Soccer Schools, a national skills competition measuring the technique of young players.

“After winning that trophy, I was determined to sign a professional contract one day and live my dream, and now I have,” he said.

Morgan remembers his time with County fondly and hopes to return to play in the UK again one day.

“I played for Newport County’s youth team from the age of 14 until 17 years of age,” he added.

“When I was 15, I helped the youth team win the Giant Killers Cup, which was a great highlight for me as a youth player there.

“The speed of play in Sweden is very quick in Division One with many technical players.

“So far, it has been a great experience for me, and I have gained a lot of respect from everyone at the club.

“I have adapted well to the Swedish style of play and feel confident at this level.

“We have a strong team this season, with players from Malmö FF and Trelleborgs FF joining the team. And with so many gifted players, each training session is very competitive.

“My coach has been impressed with the start that I have made and my nicknames on the team are ‘den Walesiska mannen’ (the Welshman) and ‘tuff man’ meaning tough guy as I have made some strong tackles.

“I would take the opportunity to go back to the UK if it did arise, as I feel that I have established myself at a high level now.

“I have played alongside lads who I watched in the African Cup of Nations this year so I know I can compete at this standard.