This website is about grassroots football. Today we celebrate the latest birthday of a man who is a champion of it.
Born on November 26, 1972, Chris Morrell is best known for his coaching skills which have helped many talented North Wales youngsters thrive over the years.
But Chris’s own playing career was far from shabby.
He is a former captain of Prestatyn Town, where he led the side to four Clwyd League trophy successes in two seasons between 1997-99.
Chris also had spells at Caerwys and Rhuddlan Town, where he finished his playing days and then took up his first manager’s role.
In recent years, the Prestatyn man has managed at St Asaph City and Conwy Borough, as well as working with Meliden, Llandudno and Llandudno Junction.
He first got the coaching bug back in the 1990’s while on a soccer scholarship in Georgia, USA.
And his ability to nurture young talent has taken him far in Wales.
Chris was head of player development for the North Wales Coast FA between 2009-14.
He represented Wales at the UEFA Regions Cup in 2012/13 and 2014/15 as head coach of the NWCFA, as well as being head of academy at Prestatyn Town from 2013-15.
In 2015, he also became head of men’s football at Salford University. Two years later he took charge of the academy at Ellesmere Boarding School.
On top of earning a Uefa goalkeeper level 1 qualification, he has attained B Licence status and will take his A Licence examination in 2021.
Ask what is Chris Morrell’s biggest football achievement and the answer would surely be his successes with the NWCFA sides at the UEFA Regions Cup.
He guided both the senior and under-18 sides with great distinction.
Chris managed the senior squad representing Wales, made up of North Wales Coast players, at both the 2012/13 and 2014/15 tournaments.
The event brings together the best amateur teams in the continent.
To qualify for the competition, the Coast won the national Regions Cup Welsh tournament twice.
Back in 2012/13, Chris was in charge of the first Welsh team to earn a point at the event in a 1-1 draw with Hestrafors of Sweden in Macedonia.
The 2014/15 competition in Estonia went even better.
Wales won their opening group match 3-1 against Northern Estonia, recording the first-ever Welsh victory at the tournament.
And although they lost 1-0 to Dostyk of Kazakhstan and 2-1 against group winners Vastergotland of Sweden, they ended up with six points by default as the Kazakhs fielded an ineligible player, and returned home in glory knowing they had made history.
The NWCFA U18s twice finished second on goal difference in the Inter-Association Trophy under Morrell.
When interviewed by Grassroots North Wales in 2014, Chris rated the likes of Jake Cassidy, Jay Gibbs, Tom Taylor, Sam Faulkner, Jamie Aston and Tom Kemp among the best lads he had coached.
A very happy birthday to Chris Morrell, a man who has worked wonders within North Wales football over the years.