This announcement would suggest that the friendly v Stenhousemuir (announced on their website) was unconfirmed by Morton and will not be played.
Chester currently play in Coca Cola League 2. They finished 18th in the league last season.
After a quick glance through their squad it would appear that most of their players will be unfamiliar to Morton fans but with Bobby Williamsons recent installment as manager this could all change by the time the fixture comes round.
Chester will also host last seasons 2nd division foes Raith Rovers on the 14th of July.
I really enjoyed the Barrow friendly last season but from a personal viewpoint I would prefer if we went somewhere new.
All Trust members are welcome to attend.
The GMST has 5 objectives. The main objective is to "purchase a substantial shareholding in Greenock Morton Football Club in order to have an influence in the running of the club with supporters representation on the board of directors". The other objectives are listed as :
- To strengthen the bonds between Greenock Morton Football Club and the local community in Greenock, Port Glasgow and Gourock and the surrounding area, and to represent the interests of the local community in the running, wholly or partly, of Greenock Morton Football Club.
- To benefit present and future members of the local community by promoting encouraging and furthering the game of football as a recreational facility, sporting activity and focus for community involvement.
- To provide and maintain facilities for the enjoyment of professional football.
- To promote coaching schemes to develop the football skills of young people and to widen interest in football regardless of the sex or ethnic origin of those involved.
If you like the principles and aims of the trust you can join by either taking out a yearly membership for £10 or joining the loan fund with a minimum contribution of £500.
For more information click here : http://www.gmst.org.uk
To download forms to join click here : http://www.gmst.org.uk/gmst/download/index.php
Clyde have announced that they will not be offering former Morton favourite Alex Williams a new contract and that means he is effectively a free agent as of now.
It's sad to see Alex' career spiralling downwards in this way as he was a player with great potential but, clearly, Williams is his own worst enemy. From Young Player of the Year in 2002, a £50,000 transfer, finishing top scorer for Morton as we won the 3rd division championsip to successive free transfers suggests that he is either very unlucky or doing something wrong. However, I for one hope he buckles down and gets his career back on track - good luck Alex.
According to yesterday's Scottish Sun (26.5.07) former Morton, Dundee and Queen's Park manager John McCormack is the front runner for the vacant Albion Rovers job. 'Cowboy' took over in 2002/03 and guided Morton to the 3rd division championship. He was sacked after Morton collapsed in season 2003/04 and made a poor start to the 2004/05 season. In the intervening period he also had a spell in charge of junior side Bellshill.
Finally, congratulations to two former Morton loanees. Yesterday Paul Hartley was part of the Celtic team that beat Dunfermline 1-0 to lift the Scottish Cup and Robert Earnshaw won his 33rd cap for Wales in a 2-2 draw with New Zealand. So far he has scored 12 goals in his 33 caps.
McCall managed Morton for four months in season 1999 / 2000. Like Allan Evans (who was mentioned on another blog entry the other day) McCall had to contend with a notorious chairman - Hugh Scott - need I say more. In his short spell in charge he excited the Morton fans by bringing in Robert Earnshaw on loan from Cardiff City and was in charge when we were beaten 1-0 by Rangers (at Love Street) in the Scottish Cup.
McCall is assured a frosty reception at Cappielow because of his claim that Morton still owed him money under the aforementioned Hugh Scott. The article in a national newspaper ( the Scotland On Sunday I think) stated or implied that present owner Douglas Rae should pay the money. Rae refuted the claims.
I think this is a decent appointment for Thistle and could see them putting up more of a challenge than was previously expected.
Morton manager Jim McInally has revealed that former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock sent him a hand written letter of congratulations on Morton's promotion to the first division.
Last summer Warnock brought his United team to Cappielow for a pre-season friendly. At the time he revealed he had a soft spot for Morton as he has a family link with the area. He also revealed that he has a holiday home in Dunoon and paid £50 for a brick at Cappielow.
The article goes on to say that he wanted to find a new club that would allow him to spend more time with his family.
The midweek game is likely to be Barrow AFC (again) or Lancaster City as both are the only teams who play nearby.
The announcement that we will play on Monday or Tuesday means that there can't be any truth in Stenhousemuir's announcement that we will be playing them at Ochilview on that same Monday.
The club also confirmed the rumours that the Renfrewshire Cup Final against St. Mirren will be played on Saturday the 28th July. The website also states that the match will be played at Love Street which is contrary to the rumours the match would be played at Cappielow.
The Morecambe friendly will see Morton make a swift return to the sea-side resort as we also played them last pre-season. In that match Morton ran out 2-0 winners in a convincing victory. Paul McGowan and Chris Templeman scored the goals. I don't think I'd be alone in saying that this match is a bit disappointing from a fans perspective. I would have liked to visit a new town and football ground rather than do the same thing as last year. At the end of the day you can't complain too much as these matches are arranged for the benefit of the team, not the supporters.
Evans managed Morton for a spell in the 2000/01 season. This was under the dubious tenure of one Mike Peden and basically meant that he had little (or no) chance of being successful.
Evans is best known for his time at Aston Villa where the defender lifted the European Cup in 1982 and gained inclusion in Scotland's World Cup squad in the same year. He also had spells as West Bromwich Albion caretaker manager in March 2000 and as Aston Villa assistant manager under Brian Little in the mid to late 90's.
According to Inverclyde Now Jim McInally has said that he will be withdrawing the contract offer made to Paul Mathers. The reason given was that Mathers was taking too long and the manager hadn't expected to be looking about for a new 'keeper at this stage.
Mathers is rumoured to be signing a part-time deal with East Fife.
I have to say I'm quite happy with this news. I thought Mathers was a good addition last season and done a decent job for us. However I don't think he was good enough for the step up.
In related news, today's Greenock Telegraph has a story that McInally is searching for a Mather's replacement in Poland with Artur Boruc for help.
I think this is a great idea. The Polish market is as yet untapped in Scotland (Zurawski, Boruc and Malkowski aside) and I think it's about time Scottish clubs made use of this resource.
Poles who are not quite top standard and play outside the top clubs like Legia Warsaw will probably be on low wages like most workers in the country. Like most Poles who have emigrated since Poland joined the EU, they would be more than happy to come to the UK to earn better wages and that's where Morton and similar sized clubs should come in. These players are probably of a higher standard than our indigenous players but can't earn as much money in Poland. You can hardly watch a game in England (outside the Premiership) without one of the teams having a Pole in their ranks and they, invariably, seem to be the best players on show. I think Hal Stewart would have liked the ring of the 'Polish Invasion'.
The pre-season schedule so far is :
Wed 18th July - Gretna (away)
Mon 23rd July - Stenhousemuir (away)
Unfortunately two players have been allowed to leave. Michael Fulton will remain at Largs Thistle while Kenny McLean will stay with Maryhill Juniors, both players spent this season on loan with those teams.
I wasn't surprised to see Fulton released. He was a skilfull player but as he hadn't made a big enough impact to force his way into the first team at 22 years old he was probably never going to.
I was surprised to see McLean released, to an extent. McInally seemed to like Kenny and even started him in the crucial play-off match at Peterhead last season. However this season he went out on loan to Maryhill and fell off the radar. Sadly he came back to attention when it was revealed that he had testicular cancer. Since then there hasn't been much mention of him at all. I don't know whether the decision to release him was to do with ability, Mclean being happier playing part-time and working as a plumber or whether his illness would affect his ability to have an impact at professional level. Whatever the reason I'm sure everyone at Morton wishes McLean, and Fulton, all the best in the future.
They are as follows :
1) Week Ending 27/4/07 (page 23 of PDF File) - Erection of new light towers by Greenock Morton Football Club, Cappielow Park, Sinclair Street, Greenock, PA15 2TY per QCon (Scotland) Ltd., Newbigging Office, Burntisland, Fife, KY3 0AQ.
2) Week Ending 4/5/07 (page 25 of pdf file) - Extension to club shop by Greenock Morton Football Club, Cappielow Park, Sinclair Street, Greenock per Richard Robb Architects, 7 Dunvegan Avenue, Gourock, PA19 1AE.
There doesn't appear to be any mention of the erection of a new fence in the Cowshed which has also been rumoured to be under consideration.
Lennox was set to play a trial match against Queen's Park but the game was cancelled due to rain. If it wasn't for the Greenock weather he may well have signed on at Cappielow instead of going on to become one of the famous Lisbon Lions.
Paul Mathers tells Roger Graham that he hopes to sign a new contract by the end of this week and that signing a new deal at Cappielow would be his "preferred option". The article also states that he has already spoken to two other clubs and intends to speak to another some time during the week.
Read the full story here : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/stories/story.php?id=8581
Current chairman Douglas Rae told Roger Graham : "I was saddened to hear of his untimely death."
Greenock Telegraph by Roger Graham (15th May 2007)
Morton legend Allan McGraw pays tribute to his former Morton team-mate Kai Johansen who passed away a few days earlier.
McGraw said : "Kai was a lovely man. He always made you feel welcome."
From what I hear he is on a modest wage and expected an improved offer but was offered the same terms as his previous contract.
Hopefully there are no problems and that Black does sign a new contract as I think he is a player with a bright future at morton.
After doing a bit of research I've found that Rangers U-19s do have a boy from Greenock playing for them :
- Nicholas Gallacher
- Position : Defender
- D.o.B : 24/01/1990
- Born : Greenock
- National Honours : Scotland U-16 International
I'm not sure if there's any substance in this story but I'm pretty sceptical myself.
Johansen signed for Morton from Danish club Esbjerg in 1964, following fellow Dane Eric Sorenson to the club. At that time Morton signed a large number of players from the Scandinavian country in a series of transfers that have become popularly known as the 'Danish Invasion'.
Right-back Johansen was such a success at Morton that he was transferred to Glasgow Rangers for £20,000 the following year. At Rangers he famously scored the winning goal in the 1966 Scottish Cup Final replay against Celtic.
According to Neil Brown's website detailing Morton players career totals he played 33 games for Morton without finding the back of the net and played 238 matches for Rangers. He gained 20 caps for Denmark in a very impressive career.
The high school opened the scoring when Barry Munro (I thought it was ex Morton player Denis McGhee) blasted home a cracker from long range. Craig Black equalised when he burst through to blast home. Brian Graham put Morton ahead when he tapped home for the first of a hat-trick. His second was the goal of the game. The prolific young striker took an immaculate touch before lobbing the stranded High School keeper from the edge of the box. 3-1 the half-time score.
In the second half both teams made a lot of substitutions, in particular Morton who used a rolling substitution system. The High School also took the opportunity to bring on some players from their past. Something that I heard one of the current players bemoaning in the James Watt pub after the game.The rout was completed by a Chris Millar double - one of which came from a comical backpass which the second High School sub keeper strangely picked up - a penalty scored by Brian Graham to complete his hat-trick and a goal from new signing Lee Mitchell.
Morton Goalscorers - Black, Graham (3 [1 pen]), Millar (2), Mitchell
GHSFP Goalscorer - Munro
1. John Cullis - 5
2. Craig Black - 7
3. Ryan Russell - 6
4. David MacGregor - 7
5. Dean Keenan - 7
6. Scott McKellar - 6
7. Chris Millar - 8
8. Gary Laughran - 8
9. Brian Graham - 7
10. Jamie Stevenson - 6 (12. Lee Mitchell)
11. Gary Phillip - 6 (15. Ryan Harding)
14. Alex Walker
20. David McGurn
My mom - Chris Millar
The friendly was announced on Stenhousemuir's official website :
There has been no confirmation from Morton as yet.
While glancing at Stenhousemuir's news section it was interesting to note that they have released former Morton player Stevie Aitken and one time Morton trialist John-Paul McBride. They have signed ex-Morton goalkeeper John Hillcoat from Brechin.
Viewfield Rovers 0 -
by Russell Steele
Morton will get the chance to regain the Renfrewshire Cup after they saw off Viewfield Rovers last night, in slightly less emphatic fashion than they did when the two sides last met in 2004. On that occasion Morton defeated the amateurs 10-1 with names like Iain Diack featuring on the scoresheet and John Paul McBride fielded as a trialist, as John McCormack’s reign ran out of ideas and neared its sorry end.
It’s a case of changed days at Cappielow now, thankfully, and last night Jim McInally - fresh from agreeing a new rolling contract - opted for a mixture of youth and experience, with first team squad members like Chris Millar, Jamie Stevenson, Peter Weatherson, Alex Walker and Dean Keenan complementing the up and coming prospects like Brian Graham and Craig Black. But their amateur opponents were well up for the game and worked hard to stifle Morton during the first 45 minutes.
The first half was largely frustrating with an impatient Peter Weatherson loudly driving his colleagues forward and imploring them to do more. Once again he sounded like genuine captain material. The first chance came on 12 minutes when Alan Gilbride saw a firm header cleared off the line. Morton then resorted to a series of – largely wayward – efforts from distance, with Weatherson, Millar and Walker all off target. They should have taken the lead on the half hour mark when Scott McKellar and Brian Graham were somehow denied by desperate goal-line blocks after Viewfield keeper David Shearer got himself into a fankle. He redeemed himself with a fine save to thwart Graham again as the half ended, turning his effort from Craig Black’s fierce low cross onto the near post and away for a corner.
In the second half Viewfield visibly tired and retreated towards their own goal. After Craig Black opened the scoring with a header off the underside of the bar, the floodgates opened. Dean Keenan added a second soon after with another header off a Stevenson set-piece and a fine through ball by Chris Millar sent Ryan Russell away to notch a third with a perfect left foot finish. Russell had also set up the first and enjoyed a much better second half after a disappointing showing up until the break. A fourth goal arrived from the penalty spot when Stevenson was fouled in the box and dusted himself down to score the resultant spot kick. The scoring was completed when Craig Black stormed up the pitch, exchanged passes with Gary Loughran (who caught the eye with a bright display off the bench) and set up Brian Graham to make it 5-0.
Job done then, and another Renfrewshire derby to look forward to - unless Calton 'do a Bellaire' and send St Mirren packing…
1. David McGurn
2. Craig Black
3. Ryan Russell
4. Peter Weatherson
5. Alan Gilbride (sub Gary Phillip, 67)
6. Alex Walker (sub Gary Loughran, 73)
7. Chris Millar
8. Dean Keenan
9. Brian Graham
10. Scott McKellar
11. Jamie Stevenson (sub Lee Mitchell, 75).
Sub not used:
Greenock Telegraph - match report
I'd expect the Morton team to be similar to the one that played against Ayr United on the last game of the season. The team that day featured fringe players like Alex Walker, Bobby Linn, Ryan Russell and Brian Graham.
The semi-finals are almost always formalities which result in both local senior sides facing each other in the final, which in recent times has been played as a pre-season fixture between both sides first teams. In the (recent) past the fixture was played by reserve teams in midweek at the end of the season.
St. Mirren face Calton Athletic in the other semi-final on Monday 14th May.
The match kicks-off at 7.30 pm and admission prices are £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.
Unfortunately I'm working and can't make the match but I'll have a match report up later courtesy of local hack Russell 'Lee Naylor' Steele.
Alan Gilbride and Mick Fulton both scored as Largs ran out 3-0 winners in a match that preserved their status in the Stagecoach Super League 1st Division. Ex-Morton player Phil Cannie scored the other goal. Largs were captained by another ex-Morton player - Neil Shearer.
The new contracts were a formality once promotion was achieved but I'm a bit surprised that they are only for 1 extra year. This suggests to me that either Douglas Rae hasn't got 100% faith in McInally as if he did I'd have expected him to offer at least a 2 year deal or that Jim himself believes that in a year from now he might have the opportunity to move onto a bigger club.
Either way I think Mcinally will do well next season and will go onto bigger and better things - probably in England.
On the subject of Jim McInally I was impressed to read an article in the Daily Record either last week or the week before in which Celtic youngster Darren O'Dea said that his Celtic career has been inspired by Jim McInally. McInally's first words to O'Dea when he walked into Parkhead as 16 year old were 'we aren't going to groom you for the SPL, we're grooming you for the Champions League' and according to O'Dea those words have stayed with him ever since.
A friend sent me a link while searching for the date for the UEFA Cup Final which is to be held in Glasgow. In an interview titled 'Aiden McGeady's Glasgow' he says :
"The rivalry between Rangers and Celtic is still pretty intense, but there are several other football clubs in and around the city. When I was younger I used to go with my uncle and my dad to watch Queen's Park [FC] and Greenock Morton [FC] because they were down the road."
I doubt this admission will endear a player who chose to play for the Republic of Ireland instead of Scotland to the Morton support though.
The full interview can be found at : http://www.uefa.com/competitions/uefacup/finals/newsid=513249.html