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Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:36

The Next Step: Young Morton

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Every year across Scotland, a handful of young men fulfil their boyhood dreams when they sign full-time for a football club. Here at YFS we're putting the spotlight on the new kids on the block who've just made the grade from youth academy level to the professional game, as they make the next step in their promising careers

On the back of a stellar return to the Scottish Championship which included finishing in the play-off places, and reaching the semi-final of the Betfred Cup, the present at Greenock Morton looks rather promising. With a well-crafted blend of both experienced and youthful players Jim Duffy has managed to give fans of The Ton something to shout about.

The first team boasts an extensive array of home-grown talent, such as Jai Quitongo, Mark Russell and Michael Tidser, all of whom worked their way throughout the club from a young age.

Several players produced from Greenock have found success throughout the country, such as former-graduate Brian Graham, a Scottish League Cup and Championship winning striker who now plays his trade for Cheltenham Town after a spells at Hibernian and Ross County.

Perhaps the most noticeable academy product in recent times is once Scotland midfielder Neil Mccan, who enjoyed a successful career at Hearts and Rangers amongst other clubs, winning leagues and cups galore, and representing his country on 26 occasions.

But what does the future hold for the next generation of youngsters at Cappielow Park?

Ben Armour

Glasgow-born, the striker is a relative newcomer to Morton, having spent time at Queen’s Park as a youth player prior to his arrival. Before that, Armour spent his youth career playing for local side Cardonald Thistle.

In September of last year, Armour left The Spiders to join the academy at Morton, featuring in the team regularly throughout the course of the season.

After just less than a season in the development side, Armour made his first-team bow in April 2017, coming on as a late substitute in a league game against Dunfermline Athletic. The landmarks keep coming for the youngster as he scored his first senior goal in pre-season during the summer, netting in a pre-season win over Stenhousemuir.

Around the same time, the 19-year old penned his very first professional deal with the club, signing a contract extension until January of 2018.

Alexander Easdale

Another young-striker making his way through the club is Alexander Easdale. Born in Greenock, the local lad signed professional terms for the first time in the summer with a two-year deal.

Easdale began his youth career for local outfit Port Glasgow Juniors in his younger years, before Aberdeen came calling, a two-year stint at the club followed.

 After his spell up North, Easdale elected to move closer to home and signed for Greenock Morton, where he moved into the under 14 squad.

Recognised for his efficiency infront of goal and intelligent movement, the youngster made his debut for the development side as a substitute against Albion Rovers at Lennoxtown in April of this year, featuring in a 3-0 victory. The 18-year old has progressed right through the age groups under Head of Youth, Derek Anderson’s tutelage, and will be determined to take the next step into the first team.

With the support of over 26-staff members within the academy, including that of Anderson and director Warren Hawke, these two young strikers will be well-supported in their journey to make it to the professional game.

Gregor Kerr | YFS South East Region Journalist
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