Why baby will top it all off for Hearts’ Callumn Morrison
Expecting the birth of his baby son any day, Callumn Morrison completed another life landmark on Saturday with his first Hearts goal.
The 19-year-old’s powerful last-minute finish in the 2-0 defeat of St Johnstone was a moment to cherish. The celebration was equally memorable.
Morrison lashed his finish beyond the visiting goalkeeper Zander Clark and into the corner of the net just seven minutes after replacing Jake Mulraney as a substitute. He promptly grabbed the ball, shoved it inside his shirt and stuck a thumb in his mouth. The message was clear.
Partner Carla was at home and missed her man’s finest moment in maroon to date. Morrison’s new arrival was due on Saturday, just hours after his first goal, but he is also expecting another slightly less significant reward.
Saturday was his 30th competitive appearance for Hearts and, as such, he now moves from the reserve dressing-room to change in beside first-team colleagues at Riccarton. Academy players must play 30 senior games before they are allowed to make that transition, a plan to ensure they remain motivated even after their initial breakthrough.
Morrison has never lacked motivation. Another Riccarton graduate, Marcus Godinho, scored his first goal to open the scoring in what was a commanding display from Hearts at the weekend. Morrison’s strike completed victory over a St Johnstone team which had won all of their previous six away matches without conceding a goal.
Morrision had waited a long time for his moment and the subsequent joviality. “I have been waiting a while to do that celebration. The baby was due yesterday so it could be any time now. I’m just waiting,” he smiled.
“It was a great feeling to get my goal but I hope there are many more to come. My good lady wasn’t there. I told her she had to stay at home just in case anything happened. One of the boys had my phone in the dugout just in case anything happened. Thankfully, there was no phonecall.
“It [the baby] will be a good feeling as well. It will be a change but I can’t wait for it. It would just top it off if it came now.
“It would be a great weekend for me and I would never forget it. We know the baby is a wee boy so we’re both looking forward to it.”
Hearts atoned somewhat for last Wednesday’s home defeat by Dundee with a controlled performance at the weekend. St Johnstone underperformed and, as such, the home goalkeeper Colin Doyle didn’t have to make a single save.
Hearts hit the post through Jake Mulraney in the first half and Sean Clare after the break before Godinho’s opener. The Canadian internationalist showed exquisite control to bring down John Souttar’s lofted pass and drill the ball beyond Clark on 52 minutes. Morrison’s late cameo secured three vital points.
“I’ve hit 30 games now which is a good achievement and the goal was a good feeling as well. I can’t let it get to my head because I’ve got plenty time to keep kicking on,” added the teenager, whose daily routine will now change at the training ground. He has been cleaning Michael Smith and Liam Fox’s boots in amongst other daily chores.
“I was going upstairs to change with the reserves,” he explained. “I would go down and do my chores in the morning, cleaning boots, and then go out on the training pitch. When we train at Tynecastle I’m in with the first team. It will be different now. We’ll see how it goes.
“It definitely does keep your feet on the ground. In the morning I’m doing my chores and cleaning boots. I think it’s good for the young players to do that, including myself. It keeps me ticking over.”
Manager Craig Levein was contented with his team’s improvement after Wednesday night. He explained why Morrison has been kept out of the senior dressing-room until now. “They [youths] don’t get into the first-team dressing-room until they reach 30 appearances. The boys want to keep him [Callumn] out, he’s a pest,” he joked.
“You can call yourself a first-team player at Hearts when you’ve played a lot of first-team games, not when you’ve made one or two appearances. His missus is expecting very soon so it was a good day for him. Maybe that will help bring the baby on.”