JUST like King Midas, Nick Morris turns everything to gold.
This cool Canberra kid would look like the A-Team’s Mr T wearing his full set of medals of gold round his neck.
He truly has the Midas Touch, speedway’s Mr T for titles. League wins at Buxton, Glasgow, Scunthorpe, Somerset and Swindon amongst many plus a Championship Riders’ title also in the bulging trophy cabinet.
In the past 12 months Morris has played a pivotal part in both Premiership winning sides with the Robins and then guesting for Poole a fortnight ago.
But now this quietly-spoken, thoughtful and articulate raw racer, still only 24, wants more glory with Lakeside and potentially a remarkable 2018 double league title win.
The Hammers face a big week with the decision over their Peterborough Play-Off semifinal abandonment nightmare, then the potential of still two more finals to run to decide the destiny of two trophies.
Frustratingly for Lakeside has been the switch from their Arena-Essex home to Hoddesdon. So far it has been a Hammer House of horrors at Rye, losing their huge home track advantage and their favourites tag for the Championship title.
But Morris vows the team are still focused on making the most of the opportunity despite the home circuit Hammer blow.
He said: “That’s always the goal, it hasn’t changed. It’s what we’ve wanted from the start. We still want to win the same as we did from the beginning of the season.
“We’ve done the hard work and we’ve got here. We’ve made it harder work by losing at home in the first leg of the Shield final. But there’s 15 heats to go in that then the main final next week as well.
“It’s not been a difficult transition for me to Rye House. We’ve lost the advantage of Lakeside because a lot of riders like it at Rye and go good there.
“Lately it’s been hard because it’s been so stop-start. There’s been rain-offs and guys missing, Kyle (Newman) has come back from injury. It feels like we haven’t had a team for the last few weeks.
“You can’t just click your fingers and get that spirit back and it’s even harder for big meetings.
“Some of the boys aren’t going as good at Rye House. We’re just not as strong at that track. We’ve still got time, we need to hit the ground running and make the most of the opportunity.
He’s managed to ‘medal’ in a few teams’ affairs in recent seasons. PHIL LANNING caught up with Nick Morris, the man with the Midas touch…
track and hard to gain anything.
“The Workington guys like that track and they’ve got a good team so we’ve got to find something special. We all need to have the meetings of our lives if we want to win.
“You definitely gain experience from being in Play-Off finals. It’s just about treating it like any other meeting and not get too worked up over it all. Just ride the bike, there’s not a lot to speedway. Keep doing what you know and block out everything else.
“The whole team needs to do their part as well. It’s not a three-man team, it’s seven and all the boys need to perform.”
Morris has felt every emotion of the PlayOffs, the agony and ecstasy, the champagne fizzery and misery. He’s missed out for Somerset and Glasgow yet felt the incredible highs with the Rebels and, most notably, his sensational winning rides for Swindon a year ago.
It was also his huge race victory in Heat 13 at King’s Lynn over Robert Lambert that all but sealed this year’s Premiership title while deputising for Brady Kurtz in Poole’s glory side live on BT Sport just a fortnight ago.
It seems Morris never plays a minor role in major finals.
But now, for the first time, he candidly feels it’s time to be known as Morra the individual not just the team champion.
He added: “My sweetest moment in the UK was winning the Premiership with Swindon. Just to be in the final race to win the league was massive.
“I passed Sam Masters in Heat 13 which was an awesome race. But just that last heat, having it all on your shoulders me and Jason (Doyle) needing to pick up the 3-3 wasn’t the biggest job in the world, especially with Doyley as your partner. But we got it and we won it.
“Last year was good because we won the league and I won the Championship Riders’ title at Glasgow.
“We’ve won a few league titles which for sure has been good. I’ve had heaps of good memories in the UK.
“But now it feels it’s time for me to be good. I want to win a gold medal individually.
“To win league titles is cool but it is an individual sport really, the major goal is to do well for yourself and be remembered for being a good speedway rider.”
Morris also admits, despite his blaze of medals start to his UK career, that he is being patient before leaping into the Grand Prix gladiatorial amphitheatre.
Morris fixes his striking greeny grey eyes into the distance, thinking carefully before answering: “That’s one of the reasons I
decided not to do the Australian
Championship this year. I
finished a really good season in the UK but I knew I wasn’t ready for the Grand Prix series.
“You need to be racing in Poland, Sweden and the Premiership and consistently scoring points before you go for it.
“I might have one or two good meetings in a GP Qualifier or the Challenge, make the series but it’s another level to compete in every GP.
“It’s not going to help you if you’re only scoring two or three in GPs and everyone is bagging you out. You want to be ready for it, simple as that.
“It’s been my dream since I was a kid to race speedway professionally and be World Champion, that’s still the dream.
“I still think about it, I still know it’s possible and still working on it.
“There’s no room for error at Rye. At Lakeside if you miss the start you can catch up so easily and make passes pretty okay whereas at Rye it’s more of a flowing sort of
“Alun Rossiter has been a big part of my career since I came over to the UK. Stewart Dickson was the first guy to take me in and Alan
G O L D F I N GERED
24 speedway star October 27, 2018