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Morgan Brown: Englishman's rise from non-league to Europa League with Aris Limassol ahead of Rangers clash

English midfielder Morgan Brown has risen from Non-League to the Europa League with Cypriot Champions Aris Limassol; Brown set to play at Ibrox on Thursday against Rangers in Group C clash; Brown: "I can't wait for the game, playing in Europe is special and something you dream of as a kid"

Morgan Brown during a Aris Limassol training session
Image: English midfielder Morgan Brown is set to play against Rangers on Thursday in the Europa League for Aris Limassol

Four years ago, Morgan Brown found himself in the Southern Premier League Central division with Stratford Town, now the Leicester-born midfielder gears up to face Rangers under the Ibrox lights for the Cypriot champions Aris Limassol.

Plying his trade in Cyprus with a Europa League goal to his name, it wasn't always the bright lights of the continent and domestic silverware for Brown, who found himself playing step-seven football just four years ago.

Before moving to Stratford Town, Morgan spent his youth with Leicester City before an unsuccessful spell at Aberdeen which saw him released without a first-team appearance. Morgan said his time with the non-league club helped him massively before he embarked on his journey to Cyprus.

"I was released from Aberdeen and needed to stay in football," he told Sky Sports. "I went to Stratford Town with a friend who was also released by Leicester. It was somewhere to keep playing football and it was actually the first time I consistently played men's football in my career.

"While I was at Stratford, I was still looking for opportunities. Aris came up and I haven't really looked back since."

And look back he didn't. Since arriving at Aris, he has helped them win their first Cypriot title while embarking on a first maiden European campaign in a group of Rangers, Real Betis and Sparta Prague.

"We won the title last season which was the first in the club's 93-year history," the 24-year-old said.

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"The club hasn't always been what it is now. It was taken over a few years ago and the new chairman has invested a lot of money.

"It has been a fast incline and through the years of playing here it is now I club I can proudly say I support."

Despite being his first real taste of professional football with Aris, he made sure he didn't leave Leicester without learning from some of the best.

"The year Leicester won the Premier League is when I left school and started full-time at Leicester," he said. "I was seeing the first team more often and I got to train with the first team once or twice.

"I trained with Riyad Mahrez but my favourite for sure was N'golo Kante. Jamie Vardy was there and we know how much of a legend he is to the club.

"The player who impressed me the most in training was Marc Albrighton. He was so good technically and his training was always with full intensity. I learnt a lot from training with these guys."

Brown netted his first Europa League goal for Aris in a 6-2 play-off win over Slovan Bratislava.

With Rangers up next, Aris must win to keep their qualification hopes alive. Morgan confessed this won't be his first visit to Ibrox but cannot wait for the occasion after beating Rangers in the reverse fixture back in October.

He said: "I have played at Ibrox one time for Leicester's academy, we won the game. It was of course nothing like this will be.

"We know it's going to be different from the last game, I think we played against them at the perfect time.

"I can't wait for the game, playing in Europe is special and something you dream of as a kid. Ibrox is a really special place."

With both teams needing a win in this fixture, it will be Brown that will be attempting to upset the odds in his career once again.

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