Hawke Resigns

Former Morton player Warren Hawke has resigned in his role as the SPFA's project manager.

The news appeared in one of the 'soccer shorts' on page 68 of today's (30.6.07) Daily Record.

Hawke's resignation follows hot on the heels of Fraser Wishart's resignation as sectretary. According to The Scotsman "relations between the organisation and its parent union, the GMB, have been strained for some time. It is believed leading figures on the SPFA management committee believe the GMB has not been providing them with sufficient support or resources". This along with Hawke's resignation would suggest that there are big problems at the SPFA

Hawke's role at the SPFA was to get young players involved in education or finding a trade so that if football didn't work out for them they would have something to fall back on. This was something he was passionate about as a player - while at Morton he and Peter Cormack attended courses at James Watt College (he was in a class with my mum) and Paisley University (I think).

Following on from the youth set-up debate, Hawke is exactly the type of former player I would like to see involved with Morton's youth players.


Wishart Resigns : http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/sport.cfm?id=876462007

Grindlay Signs For Morton

Morton have today made their second significant signing of the summer in Dumbarton goalie Stephen Grindlay.

The information comes from Dumbarton's official website although there is no mention of a transfer fee or if the player was out of contract.

Grindlay counts Newcastle United and Grimsby Town amongst his former clubs.

According to the 2005/06 Scottish Football League Review he is 25 years old (born - 13.3.1982) and 6' 2" tall.

For me, Grindlay has never been a keeper who has stood out. However he did get in this season's SPFA 3rd Division team of the year so must be doing something right. His is a signing that I'm sure a lot of Morton fans wont be overly happy about but sometimes signings like this turn out to be the best ones a manager makes.



SPFA 3rd Division Team : http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/6586381.stm


New Strip Update

A better picture of the new home and away strips can be found on gmfc.net using the following link - http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=174

The news article on the official site states that the home strip will be on sale at Smiths from 7pm on Thursday 26th July and the away will be on sale from 7pm on Thursday the 23rd of August.

Personally, I think the new home strip is a cracker. I particularly like the understated 'Buchanans' sponsor and the shade of blue. My only criticism is that the Bukta logo, the club crest and the sponsor all seem to be crammed very closely together.

However, I'm not very impressed with the away strip. The collar seems far too wide and I don't really like the 'Millions' sponsor.

For me, the most encouraging aspect so far is that in today's Greenock Telegraph Peter Weatherson commented on the good quality of the material of the strips. A primary concern for a lot of Morton fans after the farce that was Vanadanel.

New Strips Revealed

Today's Greenock Telegraph has unveiled next season's home and away strips.

Click on the image (left) to enlarge slightly.

I have included an image from the Tele' website which can also be viewed at :


The picture isn't the best so I'd recommend anyone wanting a good look to go out and buy the Tele'.

Sutton Signs For Wycombe

Former Morton target John Sutton has signed for Paul Lambert's Wycombe Wanderers. Wycombe currently play in League 2 in England.

The confirmation ends any speculation of a renewed interest from Morton.



Morton Interested In Coakley ?

An Evening Times article by Matthew Lindsay today claims that Morton are interested in 19 year old striker Adam Coakley.

Coakley was released by Motherwell at the end of last season after making only two sub appearances. He also spent a month on loan at Stenhousemuir.

The article says that he is likely to ignore interest from Morton and Bournemouth to sign for Partick Thistle.

New Strip Revealed This Weekend

According to gmfc.net Morton will reveal the design of the new Bukta strips this weekend. Details will be announced through the official website and the Greenock Telegraph.


McCall Praises The Standard Of The 1st Division

Former Morton manager Ian McCall has praised the standard of next season's 1st division.

In an interview with the BBC McCall says that he thinks Dunfermline will be the oustanding side next season but also says that "there's an awful lot of bigger clubs , historically big clubs within Scottish football. Provincial clubs like ourselves, like Morton, Dunfermline, St. Johnstone - there's an awful lot of good clubs in the division. I'm sure I've missed some out some and you'll get letters about that but the very fact you can't tell who's gonna go down or who's gonna win it right at the start of the season. It's very, very competitive.... I think it's a very attractive proposition for a sponsor."

You can listen to the full interview clicking here : http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/default.stm

then click on the 'listen' icon beside a picture of McCall which can be found under the Scottish Football Highlights and Features section.


McAnespie Signed Up

Today's Greenock Telegraph has a follow up piece on the Kieran McAnespie signing. In an interview with Chris Fitzgerald he reveals how it was mostly his fault he ended up playing part-time football and how his preferred position is in midfield but that he'd play anywhere.

The article says that McAnespie has signed a 2 year deal at Cappielow.

* Picture - McAnespie playing for Scotland U-21s.


McAnespie To Sign

The Greenock Telegraph has revealed that Kieran McAnespie will be Morton's first signing of the summer. Morton will pay Alloa around £11,750 for his services.

Rumours that McAnespie would be signing have been circulating since before the end of last season but today's article by Chris Fitzgerald finally confirms that the rumours were indeed true.

According to the article the deal has not yet been finalised - contract details such as the length of the contract and wages have yet to be agreed upon.

McAnespie is left sided player who can play left back and left midfield as well as a central midfield role. He is comfortable on the ball and takes a decent free kick. I have always been impressed with him when he has played against us and I think that he will be a very good acquisition for our first division campaign.

According to the article we have also signed a 17 year old midfielder Darren McGeough from Celtic. According to McInally he is 'one for the future' and joins despite interest from Kilmarnock and St. Mirren.




McAnespie Profile : http://www.alloaathletic.co.uk/squadProfiles.asp?id=22


Paul Mathers To Sign For St. Mirren

Former Morton keeper Paul Mathers is set to sign for St. Mirren according to today's Sun.

The snippet says that he moved to East Fife to be closer to his Tayside home but that he couldn't refuse the chance to coach at an SPL club. East Fife will be due compensation from St. Mirren.

He will also be registered as a player in case of emergencies.

The Sun also has news on some of our signing targets from this summer. Simon Mensing has signed for Motherwell and Gary Twigg looks set to join Conference side Oxford United.


2007/08 Pay At The Gate Prices Announced

Morton have announced next season's 'pay at the gate' prices on gmfc.net.

They are :

Main Stand
Adult - £15.00
Concession - £9.00
Parent & Child - £19.00

Adult - £13.00
Concession - £8.00
Child - £4.00
Parent & Child - £17.00

This is a £1 rise on last season's prices (except the £2 rise on the parent and child gates) which I think is very fair considering we have just moved up a league.

On a similar note it seems that our season ticket prices represent value for money. In the Sport section of the Sunday Herald an article by Stewart Fisher listed the lowest and highest priced season tickets for every club in Scotland. Our £200 terrace season ticket is the cheapest in the 1st division. Stirling Albion and St. Johnstone have the most expensive lowest priced season ticket at £260 - which is more expensive than our highest priced ticket. Our highest priced ticket is around mid-table in the 1st division league of prices.

Morton's pricing structure is very fair in comparison to other clubs and when you consider fans also have the option to pay up their season ticket I think the club are doing quite well in this respect.

However, I think the prices to watch football are too high in general. Clubs would get far more fans through the turnstyles if they priced the game on a par with the entertainment on show but in a sport where clubs spend more than they can afford and players demand astronomical wages I can't see that happening anytime soon.

This season's prices : http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=166

Last season's prices : http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=5

Sunday Herald Article (without the table of lowest and highest prices) :


Memorial Service for Kai Johansen

At 10.30am today in Govan Old Parish Church a memorial service was held for former Morton and Rangers player Kai Johansen. The service was arranged by Rangers.

Johansen died last month after a battle with cancer.



Date For Season Tickets

According to gmfc.net season tickets will be available for collection from Friday the 22nd of June.

The delay was caused by a problem with the printers.


Season Tickets prices are :

Adult - £250 (Section C & D) , £230 (Section A & B)
Concession - £155 (Section C & D) , £140 (Section A & B)
Parent & Child (Section A & B) £270 (Additional Child - £50)

Adult - £200
Concession - £120
Parent & Child - £240
Child - £55

More Info : http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=149


Parachute Team To Deliver 2nd Division Championship Flag

The Albert Hotel Morton Supporters have announced that they have arranged for the Golden Lions parachute team to deliver the 2nd Division Championship flag by parachuting into Cappielow before the opening league game of the season against Clyde on the 4th of August.

The Golden Lions will parachute into the ground and deliver the flag to chairman Douglas Rae around 2.30pm.

Albert Hotel Website : http://ahms.org.uk/index/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=12

Golden Lions Website : http://www.goldenlions.org.uk/

* Picture - A Golden Lion Parachuting


Morton In Sutton Bid

In today's Greenock Telegraph (14.6.07) Chris Fitzgerald has revealed that Jim McInally made a bid to sign striker John Sutton by offering him a 3 year deal. It looks likely that he will choose to return to England rather than stay in Scotland.

23 year old Sutton recently left Morton's rivals St. Mirren where he scored around 13 goals last season. He is the younger brother of Aston Villa's Chris Sutton and counts Tottenham, Millwall, Raith Rovers and Dundee among his former clubs.

Sutton would have been the perfect signing. A strong striker who would have got plenty of goals at 1st division level.

The only problem is that he comes across as a bit of a mercenary. He never stays at a club long and always appears to want to move on the moment his contract is up. This links in with a rumour that circulated when we first attempted to sign him two years ago. I heard that Sutton was on his way to Greenock to finalise terms with Morton but his agent phoned ahead to say that they would be delayed as they were just stopping off at Love Street to see what they were offering. Apparently McInally was fed up being messed about and told Sutton not to bother even coming down to Greenock if he was going to Love Street first and he subsequently signed for St. Mirren. If this story is true it would be surprising to learn of McInally's renewed interest although he might have taken the perspective that Morton could 'use' Sutton just as he would use us.

The failure to sign Sutton means that the search for new players goes on.


* Story update : According to the BBC sport website we (or any other Scottish club) would have had to pay St. Mirren compensation for Sutton : http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/st_mirren/6708267.stm

2007/08 Fixtures Announced

Today the Scottish Football League released the fixtures for the 2007/08 season.

Morton begin the campaign by unfurling the 2nd Division championship flag at home to Colin Hendry's Clyde on Saturday the 4th of August. Our first away fixture is at Dunfermline the following week.

Other notable fixtures include Dunfermline at home on Boxing day, Stirling away on the 2nd of January and Partick Thistle away on the last day of the season (Saturday 26th April).

Like last season's Brechin match we have one midweek match scheduled - Tuesday 11th March v Clyde at Broadwood.

Due to copyright issues I can't reproduce the whole fixture list but here is a link to the BBC's list :



Communication From The Chairman's Desk !

Today Morton chairman Douglas Rae posted some news on gmfc.net regarding recent goings-on at the club. I'm going to take a look at his announcements and provide my opinion on each of them.

1) Rae expressed his disappointment at the 'negativity boys' who have criticised the club's lack of signings so far.

I have sympathy with the chairman in this regard. I haven't seen many transferred players who I'd like Morton to have signed and so I'm quite happy to see Morton taking their time to try and sign the right players. Also, the Tele' has revealed that we attempted to sign Hinchcliffe and Twigg.

In my opinion the problem here rests with the clubs lack of communication rather than the lack of signings. Most other clubs at our level have websites that are updated with news every day. It's very rare to find news on gmfc.net and when there is, like today's news, it's often a rambling section with everything crammed into one long message. If Morton communicated more often then I'd suspect less people would become frustrated at the lack of news.

2) We attempted to sign Simon Mensing and we are chasing a "left sided player, aged 26, who has previously played in the Premier League and in England" who we will have to pay cash for. We are also looking at a striker but our top target is on holiday.

Personally I'm very happy to hear that we at least enquired after Simon Mensing as he is a player that the vast majority of Morton fans have picked out as one for the wish-list. Although it wasn't really realistic it is still positive to hear we tried.

Rumours linking us with Alloa's Kieran McAnespie persist and he seems to fit the chairman's description. He is left sided, 27 years old (not 26), played in the Premier League with St. Johnstone and in England with Fulham. I read that he signed a new contract with Alloa so we would need to pay a fee. Personally I'd be very happy to sign McAnespie. He has been a player who has impressed me over the last season. As a versatile left sided player he would be a useful addition to the squad.

I can't say much on the striker as I don't have a clue who he is but I am pleased that we have identified a left sided player, a strong central midfielder and a striker as priority signings. My only concern is that there is no mention of a goalkeeper !?!

3) Morton are taking over part of Smiths Sports Shop's ground floor to extend the range of merchandise we sell there.

I believe this could be a good thing because as things stand the range of Morton merchandise available is not good enough and as long as by extended space it means room for more products rather than more of the same then it can only be good.

Although I'm wondering where this leaves the planned extension to the club shop at Cappielow. As I posted on here Morton applied to Inverclyde Council for planning permission to extend the shop and as I'm led to believe work had already started. Surely there's no need for an extended club shop if we have struck this deal with Smiths ?

4) Nike will no longer be making the new strips , Bukta will be taking over these duties. The new strips go on sale on the 27th of July.

I'm really disappointed with this announcement. Firstly it's a return to the days when Morton are too quick to make public announcements only for them to fail to come to fruition. Secondly I don't believe that a major company like Nike could be unable to guarantee stock orders for a club our size even if we would be on the lowest rung of their club partnerships. Finally I'd much rather our strips were made by a decent company like Nike as this would mean better quality strips by a brand name that children want to be seen wearing meaning extra sales. I remember having a Bukta strip in the 80's (Watford I think) - the quality wasn't up to much and I remember getting laughed at because the brand was Bukta (Bukshee etc). However on it's own I would be happy with Bukta making the strips especially when you compare them to Vandanel it's just a bit disappointing to go from Nike to Bukta.

It's good to get a date for the release. However as with most previous years the date is the end of July. We could maximise our profit by putting the strip out on sale at the start of the summer as people want to wear the strip in the sun and especially on their holidays.

The chairman also encouraged fans to purchase their season ticket as soon as possible.

Overall it was encouraging to get some news out of Cappielow but it would be good if we could get regular news updates - please ?



Concerns Over Morton Youth Set-Up

Recently a disgruntled parent posted a message on the Morton messageboard claiming that Morton broke promises by releasing the whole under 17's youth squad and this set off a debate among Morton fans as to the quality and importance of our youth system.

This criticism came hot on the heels of a piece in the Greenock Telegraph in which former Morton player Craig McPherson expressed concerns over the lack of Morton scouts monitoring local youth football.

The argument has raged on and Morton chairman Douglas Rae defended the youth set-up in the Greenock Telegraph (6.6.07). Rae said that Morton wont be changing their current youth policy and stated that Morton have just took on a full team of under 13's from First Touch. He also went onto say that Morton have qualified youth coaches in Peter Weatherson, Chris Millar and Jamie Stevenson and that 'we' do have scouts and they go to every game they can.

Rae's defence was countered by John Kennedy - the chairman of local boys club St. Andrews. The article says that Kennedy is 'disillusioned' by Morton's youth set up and that he is not alone. His primary concern echoes Craig McPherson's comment that Morton have no scouts at youth team games. Kennedy says that he sees scouts from Celtic, Rangers, Motherwell, Hibs and Aberdeen at his games but none from Morton and that he doesn't even know who any of the Morton scouts are.

Morton's youth set-up is a subject I am very passionate about. I would much prefer to see us producing our own talent than buying it and I have to confess I am concerned with the youth set-up and that it has never fully recovered from Hugh Scott's days.

I was particularly concerned by Douglas Rae's comment that if local youth team managers think their boys are good enough they should contact Morton. That is nonsense, particularly when larger clubs are going to the effort of sending their scouts to these matches. A club of Morton's size has to be ahead of the game in this respect. To get these players before the big clubs we have to get there first and convince the boys that signing for Morton is in their best interests rather than have the attitude that if they are good enough they should contact us.

I also don't like the fact that some of out current players are managing the youth teams. They might be very good coaches but I think they should be focusing on their own careers. Stevenson and Millar are still relatively young players in their own right and are in effect still learning the game. My younger brother was a talented local footballer who got a trial with Ross County when he moved to Inverness and I'll never forget his reaction when he came home to tell us that an experienced player like Brian Irvine had just taken him for training. I'd prefer to see Morton employing more experienced former players like Irvine to coach the youths rather than players who are still concentrating on their own careers. For example, Jason Walker was coaching one of the teams and left to return to England because he was homesick. This change in management would not be good for the continuity of the youth team Walker was managing.

Under Peter Weir (and Billy Stark) Morton had an excellent youth system that produced a team that made it to the semi-finals of the BP Youth cup and who were only beaten by Celtic (at Parkhead) after extra time. Many of the players in that team are still involved in football be it at senior or junior level. I'd like to see Morton return to youth policy similar to this. Although it would be even better if we could get back to producing guys like Derek Lilley, Alan Mahood, Brian Reid , Derek McInnes and the like.

I think all Morton fans can appreciate that until we got back to the 1st Division youth development was not a priority. However now we are back in the 1st I think it's about time we stopped ignoring the youth set-up and raised its standard to match all the other improvements that Douglas Rae has made at Cappielow since he took over. I know this would cost money but I think it would be worth it.

Rae defends youth set-up in the Tele :

Thread on Youth Set-Up : http://www.greenockmorton.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=14330

Did You Know ...

... Kenny Dalglish made his professional football debut for Celtic v Morton at Cappielow in 1968.

I'm reading his 1996 autobiography Dalglish at the moment and in it he says :

"Big Jock was a hands-on manager. He took charge of my first professional game, getting together a reserve team of new professionals who had just returned from being farmed out. I came back from Cumbernauld, Danny McGrain and Paul Wilson from Maryhill, Vic Davidson from Ashfield. The game was against Greenock Morton and Big Jock thought we'd get battered. We only lost 5-4. It was meant to be a test of mettle, and a learning experience, for us. At half-time, Big Jock came into the dressing-room at Cappielow and told our goalkeeper that he should have come for one of the crosses. The goalkeeper had the nerve to answer back: 'It's not my fault, it's their fault.' Big Jock responded by walking over and shutting each of the small windows so that nobody outside could hear. Then he went off his trolley, pouring verbal abuse on the keeper and us."


Morton Article in FourFourTwo Magazine

This month's 'July' edition of the adult orientated football magazine FourFourTwo has an article asking former greenockmorton.net forum administrator Ewan MacDonald set questions about Morton for a regular feature called 'WHO ARE YA?'.

For those who don't buy the magazine Ewan responded with the following answers :

Greenock is ...... formerly a major shipbuilding centre; now it's a major centre for nothing in particular. I like it primarily because it isn't Paisley.

All-time great - Andy Ritchie, the idle idol. That he didn't play in the 1978 World Cup is dreadful; that his career ended so early is criminal.

Local legend - Mark Pickering. Chuck Norris wishes he was Mark Pickering.

Best ever game - It's hard to beat St Mirren 1 Greenock Morton 5. There's nothing like thumping your hated rivals on their own manky patch.

Worst moment - Take your pick. Then-chairman Hugh Scott threatening to shut the club down "like the shipyards"; relegation to the lowest tier of Scottish football; (unfounded) rumours of a betting scandal hitting the national newspapers. Perhaps it's the 4-1 home defeat to Stenhousemuir who were already relegated and the lowest-scoring team in the country- to effictively end our promotion bid in 2004.

Sum up this season - It's about damn time! Finally we're back in the First Division after a long time out. A 3-1 win over Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup and a league title is not a bad haul, and just reward for a very hard-working squad.

Manager profile - Jim McInally is learning fast and becoming a fine boss. He and assistant Martin Clark have made this team super-fit and his man-management is spot-on.

A pretty good summation of the club. I especially like the last sentences of the answers to the 'Greenock is' and 'Best ever game' questions.

Morton featured in the same article a couple of years ago and I believe Phil Fox answered the questions that time. I'll see if I can dig out that issue and get the responses up here soon.

Info on July's edition of FourFourTwo : http://www.fourfourtwo.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Also


Morton 1st Division Odds Available

Coral bookmakers have made odds available for ante-post betting on the outright winners of the Scottish 1st division.

Morton are quoted at 11/1 which puts them sixth favourites behind Dunfermline (7/4), St. Johnstone (11/4), Dundee (9/2), Hamilton (9/1), and Partick Thistle (10/1).

Behind us are Livingston (12/1), Clyde (20/1), Queen of the South (20/1) and Stirling Albion (20/1).

I'd recommend anyone contemplating a flutter to shop about for prices. Alan (Thornton) on the Morton messageboard says that Ladbrokes are giving slightly better odds at 12/1. Local independent bookmakers H & H are also likely to better or at least match the odds available from any of the big chain bookies.

Coral's Odds : http://www.coral.co.uk/sbuk.go?page=grouppage&groupid=137630&lang=20&sid=20&ms==

Ladbrokes' Odds (from Thornton) : http://www.greenockmorton.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=14422


Lilley Signs For Stirling

Former Morton striker Derek Lilley has signed for Allan Moore's Stirling Albion on a part-time basis. According to today's Scottish Sun Vialli will combine playing for the Binos with a job working for a bank in Edinburgh.

I have been following Morton since 1995 - a Morton newcomer relative to most Morton fans - and in the 12 or so years I have followed the club Derek Lilley is my all time favourite Morton player.

Unforunately I was far too young to see or remember guys like Andy Ritchie or even Rowan Alexander in their prime. As an impressionable 13 year old your team's goalscorer is more often than not the easy and obvious choice to be your favourite player. I was no different and after watching Lilley's electric pace and explosive finishing I became Lilley '7' in the playground and out on the street. Older fans with a keener eye for the game would have focused on the class of Lindberg or McInnes but for me and my pals it was the more exciting players like Lilley and Rajamaki who struck a chord.

When he left Morton for Leeds United for a fee reported to be around £500,000 in 1997 I was certain he would make an impact at Elland Road and go onto play for Scotland (Joe Jordan style). Apart from a dramatic winner for Leeds in a 3-2 win againt Barnsley it never worked out at Leeds and he went onto have similarly unproductive spells at Bury, Oxford, Dundee United and Hearts.

He was to return to prominence with Livingston in the 2003/04 season. Lilley had a tremendous season at Almondvale scoring around 18 goals in all competitions including one in the Scottish League Cup Final as his Livingston side beat Hibs 2-0 to lift the trophy. This will go down as the highlight of Lilley's playing career. I remember being especially happy for him that afternoon even though I'm not a big Livingston fan (like most other Scottish football fans I'd imagine).

Unfortunately his next season didn't match the previous campaign. As a result Lilley was released and returned 'home' as one fan put it to him in a pre-season friendly at Northwich in his unofficial second debut. That night I had doubts over Lilley's ability to recapture former glories at Cappielow and I think the next couple of season proved to be a bit of a disappointment. Personally, I put this down to age. Lilley had lost his electric pace and this was, for me, the key element in his game. Without this he wasn't half the player he was in the past and there was no way he was going to adapt to the target man role he seemed to take on - or had forced upon him. His poor form lead to his release from Cappielow in the middle of last season. He spent the second half of the season on the bench at St. Johnstone but he wasn't kept on which brings us up to the present day and the next (and final ?) chapter in Derek Lilley's career which is to be played out at Stirling Albion.

I think cases like Lilley's (and similarly Mahood, Hawke and Collins) are examples of why teams should never go back over old ground. It's never the same the second time and great memories can be tarnished by memories that are less favourable but much fresher. I wish Lilley all the best at Forthbank (except against us) and even though his second spell wasn't as good as first time around I'll never forget those days when I'd come home raving about 'Vialli' every saturday night.

Wikipedia profile : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Lilley

Soccerbase profile : http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=10434

Leeds fansite profile : http://www.leedsfans.org.uk/leeds/players/505.html


Twigg Ignores Morton Bid

A couple of days ago a rumour posted on the greenockmorton.net forum linked Morton with a move for Airdrie United striker Gary Twigg. Today this rumour was confirmed by an article in the Greenock Telegraph (7.6.07).

Jim McInally told the Tele's Chris Fitzgerald that he had offered Twigg a deal and that Twigg said he would get back to him - but didn't.

As far as McInally is concerned the deal is dead and he will now be looking at other targets. He said that he is pursuing an experienced goalkeeper and that 'SPL agents' have offered him players.

If I'm being honest I don't really know that much about Twigg. I don't think I have seen him play and I haven't read that much about him so it's difficult to comment on how good a signing he could have been. The fact that he began his career at Derby where he played 8 games in the Premiership after making his debut at 17 suggests that he could have been a decent signing.

Twigg Rumour Thread : http://www.greenockmorton.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=14362

Full Tele' Story : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=8760

Twigg's profile on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Twigg


Stenny Friendly Re-arranged

Stenhousemuir have announced that the pre-season friendly against Morton at Ochilview has been re-arranged for Wednesday the 25th July.

The match was originally scheduled to be played on Monday the 23rd of July but doubt was cast over this announcement when Morton confirmed that they would be playing Chester City on the same day.

Story update (12.6.07) - Morton have now officially confirmed this friendly. The match will kick-off at 7.45 pm - http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=161


A Lack Of Transfer Activity ?

There have been a lot of grumblings on the greenockmorton.net forum over the years, the most recent is that Jim McInally has been slow to bring in new faces to Cappielow. First team goalkeeper Paul Mathers has left the club. As have reserves Kenny McLean and Mick Fulton. No one has been added to last seasons squad as of yet and some fans are getting concerned we are missing out.

So far we have been linked with former St. Mirren goalkeeper Craig Hinchcliffe - who subsequently signed for Partick Thistle - and an unnamed Polish goalkeeper recommended by Artur Boruc. There were also rumours of a Rangers' youth player from Greenock signing on loan. I believe we are also still hopefull of taking Paul McGowan back to the club permanently but that McInally believes he will have to wait until McGowan gets frustrated at playing reserve and youth team football and requests a move thereby pressuring Celtic to drop their asking price. Kieran McAnespie was another name mentioned towards the end of last season but there has been no updates on that front for a while now.

These rumours apart Morton have been quiet on the transfer front. At the moment no players have been brought in but is this a bad thing ? Personally I don't think so, especially when you look at the calibre of players our opposition are bringing in and who are currently available.

St. Johnstone - The Saints have replaced Jason Scotland (free to Swansea) with David Weatherston. Weatherston's goals in the third division would suggest that he is a hot prospect. However, he is untried at first division level and might find the leap up too much. A player we were interested in last season but not one I think anyone should be concerned on missing out on. Scotland will be a massive loss for them and a big plus from our perspective.

Dundee - Morton fans will recognise one of their new arrivals as Stirling Albion's left winger David O'Brien. O'Brien is a tricky customer when on form but that doesn't seem to be that often. I've often read Stilring Albion fans praising his ability but lamenting his inconsistency. A good signing but again, not someone I'd be looking for us to sign. They have also signed David Worrell, a defender from Rotherham, who I know nothing about. We will have to wait until next season to see if we have missed out there.

Hamilton Accies - Hamilton's best signing could be a player who was already with them last season. Republic of Ireland Youth International James McCarthy decided that another year at the Accies would be better for his career development than moving to one of the big clubs (Chelsea, Liverpool, Rangers and Celtic) courting his signature. Apart from McCarthy Hamilton haven't signed anyone but have released four, including experienced midfielder Marvyn Wilson.

Stirling Albion - Last year's second division runners up have lost winger David O'Brien to Dundee (see above) but have signed three new players. Darren Gribben has signed on a free. A decent young striker who was released by Forfar for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. He has the potential to be a good signing but because of his problems at Forfar Gribben is not the type of person you would want to risk having in your dressing room. They have also signed Laurie Ellis from Cowdenbeath - not a player I'd like at Cappielow - and John Paul McBride. McBride was on trial at Morton a few seasons ago, if he wasn't worth a contract then I don't see how he could be worth one now.

Partick Thistle - Former Morton gaffer Ian McCall has cleared out half of last season's squad and brought in three new faces. He beat us to sign Craig Hinchcliffe but rather than be disappointed about this I think Morton fans should be happy as I don't think he is the standard of keeper we should be looking at. They have also signed Falkirk frees Ryan McStay and Marc Twaddle. These are two players who might have been worth looking at but who would say they are genuinely disappointed in our failure to capture either of them ?

Clyde, Livingston , Queen of the South and Dunfermline - Like us, these four teams have not signed anyone yet. Their only activity has been to release players. Amongst those frees was Alex Williams. Alex was an integral player in the third division championship season but never someone we are going to bring back for his off the field activities as much as the down turn in his form. At present Livingston are unable to sign anyone as a result of a dispute with Emmanuel Dorado. Pars chairman has told the BBC that his squad will be 'slashed' in the summer due to relegation from the SPL.

Looking at the players available and those that our rivals in the first division have signed so far I don't see any reason for Morton fans to be concerned. I'd become concerned if in a month from now we haven't signed anyone. I'd be even more concerned if we had wasted some of our transfer/wages budget on the players mentioned above. Patience is a virtue and I'd rather McInally took his time and got the right players rather than rush in in a panic and sign the uninspiring players that have been available so far.


Albert Bus to Chester Friendly

The Albert Hotel Morton Supporters Club have announced that they will be running a bus to Chester City - the second and final match in Morton's pre-season tour.

The AHMS are also running an overnight bus to the Saturday game against Morecambe.

Details for the Chester bus can be found using the following link :

Morton Miss Out On Hinchcliffe

Former St. Mirren and Arbroath goalkeeper Craig Hinchcliffe has signed for Partick Thistle.
Earlier in the week it was rumoured that Jim McInally had identified Hinchcliffe as a replacement for recently departed keeper Paul Mathers.

Today's signing news means that McInally must look elsewhere, possibly returning to the option of bringing in the Polish keeper recommended by Artur Boruc.

Personally I'm quite glad we never signed Hinchcliffe. I've never rated him and in my opinion he is too small. At 35 years old I also think he is too old - even though 35 isn't that old for a goalkeeper.


Craig McPherson's Scouting Concerns

In Monday's (28.5.07) Greenock Telegraph former Morton, Airdrie and Falkirk defender / midfielder Craig McPherson (on the right of the picture in an Airdrie strip) expressed some concerns over Morton's scouting in local youth football.

'Hagi' said that Hugh Scott destroyed the foundations laid down by Allan McGraw and Joe McMaster and that we have never really recovered from that. Especially since Joe Mclaughlin was appointed but never replaced when he left.

McPherson, currently employed as the SFA's youth football co-ordinator in Inverclyde, is specifically concerned that Morton will miss out on talented local youngsters because they have no scouting network in place and that although youth coaches Peter Weatherson, Jamie Stevenson and Chris Millar are doing a good job they can't be everywhere.

I think most Morton fans have been concerned with this aspect of the club. However Douglas Rae has said, since day one, his main priority was to get Morton back to the 1st division when that was achieved other parts of the clubs infrastructure could be looked at. Hopefully now we are back in the 1st division we can get back to producing Morton stars of the future rather than buying them.

Read the Tele' article online here : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/stories/story.php?id=8683