Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Former Jamaica Under-17 and Under-20 representative Steven Morrissey inked a one-year deal with top-flight Danish team Silkeborg on Monday. The contract will run until December 31, 2013.
With the move, the 26 year-old striker became the first Jamaican to sign directly to the league though Luton Shelton played 11 games for Aalborg in 2009/2010 on loan from Valerenga.
According to Morrissey's agent, a number of teams from Germany, Sweden and Denmark showed an interest in the player but Silkeborg was the one that made the best offer.
"There were teams in Germany, Sweden and Denmark with an interest in Steven but this was the team that came with the most serious offer," explained the Jamaican-born United States-based Kevin Cowan who also represents national representatives O'Brian Woodbine, Ricardo Cousins and former Jamaica youth representative Keniel Hyde.
Morrissey's move was made possible by his outstanding performance in Finland last season where he impressed with 15 goals in 28 matches for top-flight club Veikkausliiga.
"I have followed Steven Morrissey for a long time and I believe that he can be a really good player for SIF. He is a very interesting attacker who has a great knowledge of where the goal is. In the top Finnish league, he scored 15 goals in 28 matches.
"Steven is a fast, explosive and aggressive striker who often played alone at the top, but I am very pleased to see him with an attacking partner. Now he only just needs to settle down and develop an understanding with the other players, and I am sure that he will soon knock on the starting line-up," Peter Knudsen, the club's sporting director was quoted as saying in a press release announcing the signing.
Morrissey himself expressed pleasure with the move.
"I am really looking forward to playing for Silkeborg. It seems like a really good club with some great players. I've only trained with them one day, but they were really nice and welcomed me, so now I am just going to try to make the team better. And hopefully I will settle in quickly, so I can help the team and score some goals," the former Portmore United player was quoted as saying.
Cowan said the deal and its length should suit both parties.
"It is a team at the lower end of the table but in the top league in Denmark and they want him to score goals and fire them up the table. For us, it is our hope that Steven makes a mark, increases his value and opens more doors for other Jamaican players.
"Places such as Sweden and Denmark are the gateways to the bigger leagues in Europe so it is a good place to start," said Cowan.
The Danish League is currently ranked 15th in the world as of December 8, 2012, according to the UEFA coefficient as of December 8, 2012. Danish teams often feature in the Champions League with Copenhagen reaching the knockout stage in 2010/2011, Aalborg the group stage in 2008/2009 and FC Nordjaelland progressing to the group stage of the 2012/2013 season.