By Jon Couch
HE’S seen him lead Dwight Gayle and Andre Gray to the very top – now Morgan Ferrier reckons John Still can help him become the next Premier League big gun.
Still, the wily Dagenham & Redbridge boss, landed something of a coup in the summer when he lured marksman Ferrier from Boreham Wood amid interest from a number of top Football League suitors.
Target man Ferrier netted his seventh goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Dover Athletic on Tuesday night to continue the Daggers’ promotion charge.
And after also forcing his way into the England C set-up for this month’s ICT Final defeat in Slovakia, the 23-year-old former Arsenal trainee believes he has the right mentor to fire him back into the big time.
“I did have Football League options in the summer but the main reason I went to Dagenham was because of the gaffer,” Ferrier told The NLP.
“He’s got an excellent track record with strikers, guys who have done well for him at the various clubs he’s been at. You’ve got the likes of Dwight Gayle and Andre Gray, they all plied their trade under the gaffer at lower level, so if they can do it, why can’t I?
“I had one meeting with him; we were totally honest with each other and I came away thinking that I could get my head down and build something at Dagenham.”
A goal-a-game ratio at Boreham Wood last season led to Ferrier being monitored by a number of League clubs such as Peterborough, Luton Town and Stevenage, but Ferrier says he has no regrets about staying in the National League for at least another season to build his career.
“At my age, the most important thing is for me to be playing football,” the burly front man added. “There’s no point me moving into the Football League, not scoring for two or three games then being out of the team for the next ten.
“At Dagenham, I have a good relationship with the gaffer and my team-mates and I know that as long as I give it my all, then I know he will stick by me.”
Right now, Ferrier is happy leading Dagenham’s charge back into the elite 92, but he knows he doesn’t have to look too far to get to where he wants to be.
“Because I’ve been at bigger clubs, Nottingham Forest, Palace, Arsenal, West Brom, I know what it takes to get to the top,” he went on. “I’ve trained with some top players there but, honestly, there are a lot of Non-League players that aren’t a million miles off it and do make the step up – the likes of Jamal Lowe, Kieffer Moore, Oli Hawkins, who was at Dagenham last season, they are all striving.
“Kieffer Moore is the top goalscorer in League One, so it shows it’s not the level. You’ve just got to be motivated, know what your job is and fulfil it at the weekend. The gaffer has done it for many years and knows what it takes. He feels with the squad we have got, that we have all the ingredients to be successful.
“On our day we can beat anyone. We know, as a squad, we can fulfil our potential.”
*This article originally featured in The @NonLeaguePaper, which is available every Sunday.