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Interviews

INTERVIEW: When they sing your name it's mad

Morgan Feeney on triggers, important goals and special chants

23 May 2022

It got to the point towards the end of the season where the team couldn’t take to the pitch without chants of ‘Feeeneeey’ ringing out from the terraces, so it came as somewhat of a relief to the fans when it was confirmed that a trigger had been activated which keeps the popular defender at Brunton Park for a further 12 months.

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And, when talking about the activation of the clause, new boss Paul Simpson took things one step further when he revealed that he’d be more than happy if an agreement could be reached which would keep the 23-year-old here beyond that term.

A haul of 42 appearances last season gave him the kind of season he’d been hoping for having been through a series of injury nightmares, and cult status in Cumbria was assured when he popped up to grab a last-ditch winner in front of the away fans at Boundary Park in March.

We managed to corner him for a quick interview moments after he’d been in to see the manager at the beginning of this month.

“I’m delighted that it was all sorted,” he said. “I love being here so I’m really pleased to be here for another year.

“I obviously knew I had an option in my contract but I was just concentrating on the games because it was in the club’s hands so I knew I just needed to keep performing and playing well.

“I was focusing on doing my bit for the team, but now the season is done I’m delighted it’s all been sorted.”

“Even though I had an option, you’ve still got to go out on the pitch and perform,” he added. “If you aren’t performing you don’t play, and then the option doesn’t matter because you don’t get a deal.

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“It really is as simple as that. I always think about the next game, whatever the situation, because the main thing I focus on is trying to do as well as I can.”

Having already spoken about how much he’s enjoyed the last 18 months, he confirmed that patience was required at the start of the last campaign as he waited to be given his chance to secure a regular starting spot.

“I was in and out at the start of the season, but I was just trying to work hard on the training pitch to try and get in the team,” he commented. “The new manager has shown a lot of faith in me and I can’t thank him enough for that. I’ve really enjoyed my football under him.

“I’m delighted to have got through the full season. I think I was available for every game, even though I didn’t play them all, so I was delighted with that.

“It’s good for me to know that I’m capable of that after a couple of seasons with injuries and things like that. That means I can go into next season feeling even more confident.”

“Realistically it’s my first proper season in professional football, so I’ve definitely learned a lot,” he continued. “Each game is different and the players around me have helped me a lot during the year.

“It’s a learning curve but I like to think I’ve picked up a few things that will help me going into next season."

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Definitely a big part of the enjoyment he mentioned has been that blossoming relationship with the fans.

“Like I say, I love being here,” he reiterated. “My time here so far has been brilliant and the fans have been brilliant with me.

“We’ve had some good games as well as some not so good games, but hopefully next year will be even better.

“The feel-good factor towards the end of the season was great. We all really pulled together, so I think if we can replicate that next year then we can have a good season.  

“The relationship I’ve had with the fans has been really nice. When your own fans appreciate you it’s good - it’s still a bit strange, to be honest, but I’m really enjoying it and I can’t thank them enough.

“When they shout my name it’s mad. I don’t really know what to do with myself when they’re singing it at me, but it’s brilliant. To have a reception like that is still strange, but it’s something you dream of really.

“Confidence is a big part of football so when you’ve got the fans behind you like that it does really help.

“That doesn’t just go for me, it’s important for the whole team. The fans have been brilliant this season, in the bad times and the good times.

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“For the last 15 games they got us over the line in a few of them, especially at home, but the away support has been brilliant as well.

“It just shows the confidence they put into us because it means we can go out onto the pitch with no fear to try and get the result we all want.”

The aforementioned goal against Oldham was unsurprisingly voted as the London Branch Champagne Moment at the end of season bash, with the significance of the header lost on nobody as one club went one way and the other went, well, the other.  

“I knew there was a Champagne Moment award on Sunday night, but I didn’t even think about it to be honest,” he admitted. “I was just sat on the table with Josh [Dixon] and it came up on the screen, then everyone started shouting Feeney at me.

“It was a nice little touch and I was delighted with that. I think it was an important goal in our season and for it to be my first professional goal in front of all of those fans so late in the game was really special.

“I think you could tell from my celebration that I was a bit shocked because I just ran away from everyone. For my first goal I probably couldn’t have asked for a better one, so I was buzzing with it.”

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Now heading off for a well-deserved break, he said: “I think it’s important to rest over the next couple of weeks to let my body recover.

“I’ll just keep ticking over as best as I can. I know we’ll all get our programmes off Jamie and the staff to make sure we’re ready for the start of pre-season.

“I’ll be the same as fans and looking at which players we bring in because it’s all about competition for places.

“You want those challenges, the players coming in will want your place in the team and you’ve got to do everything you can to make sure they don’t get it.

“That’s football, you’ve got to take that in your stride. Hopefully next season I can do well again and keep my place in the team.

“It’s the same as this time, I just want to play as many games as I can again and stay injury free.

“I think as a team we want to try and do something special next year. We’re all ambitious and we’ve got the same goals, so that would be nice.”

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