Davie Irons Predicts A 6th Place Finish For Morton

In an article on the BBC sport website 'new' Gretna manager Davie Irons (pictured left) analyzes this season's first division clubs chances and makes a prediction of where they will finish. On Morton he says :

"One of the new teams in the league.

Morton have always been one of the larger provincial clubs in Scotland and have a big support.

I think Jim McInally and Martin Clark have done a good job and this could lead to high expectations among the Greenock fans.

But I think a season of consolidation may be the limit for Morton this year."

David's prediction: 6th

You can read the rest of his predictions here : http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/6923897.stm

Injury Updates

Roger Graham also updates us on the injury situation in today's Tele' :
David MacGregor (pictured) was subbed on Saturday as the result of a knee problem.

David McGurn has injured thumbs.

Bobby Linn has suffered a reoccurence of his achilles injury, presumably in the bounce match against Rangers or training.

Craig Black's injury is not as bad as first feared - after his plaster was removed they discovered he hadn't broken anything.

Scott McLaughlin is out for a at least two months with a wrist injury suffered at Gretna.

Morton To Make Serious Bids For Three Players

Today's Greenock Telegraph carries a back page exclusive by Roger Graham. Graham reveals that Morton will be going for Paul McGowan, Jani Sturm and Jay Shields in the next two days.

Jani Sturm : McInally will meet with Sturm's agent today for talks. McInally says that Sturm has been out injured for a long time but feels he is worth the risk.

Jay Shields : McInally will talk with Shields today.

Paul McGowan : Jim McInally will talk to Celtic manager Gordon Strachan about getting McGowan for a more realistic asking price than the £150,000 mentioned. McGowan is also quoted as saying he would love to come back.

Practice Match Cancelled

It would appear that the 'full scale practice match' that was mentioned in the Greenock Telegraph and due to be played tonight is not going ahead.

The rumour I have heard is that the match was cancelled to allow the Cappielow turf time to bed in before Saturday's match against Clyde.

There are also rumours of a match against East Stirling which will be played tonight at Little Kerse ( a public park) in Grangemouth with a 7.15pm kick off time - apparently the Morton team will be a reserve team.

Update : East Stirling have confirmed this match on their website : http://www.eaststirlingfc.co.uk/mortonpsf.html

Has Jay Shields Signed?

In his article on Hugh Murray and the St. Mirren v Morton match in the Evening Times Bert Mitchell finishes off with the sentence "McInally has, however, completed the signing of former Hibee Jay Shields."

There has been no other confirmation of this other than the rumour that Shields appeared in the team picture taken last week.

Dundee Make Sturm An Offer

Rumours on the http://www.pieandbovril.co.uk/ website suggest that Jani Sturm will be signing for Dundee. A news item in the Dundee Evening Telegraph And Post states that Alex Rae is attempting to bring in another foreign striker.

Alex Rae is quoted as saying : “We’ve targeted a foreign player and I’ve watched him a couple of times. He impressed me and we have made him an offer — now it is a matter of waiting to hear his response.”

Rae was in the stand against Stenhousemuir and left as soon as Sturm was substituted , on that basis I think it's pretty safe to say this unnamed player will be Jani Sturm.

Jim McInally's comments in today's Tele' were also concerning as he seems resigned to losing out on the player even before he has signed for anyone : "It’s one of these situations where we need to speak to him. I don’t know if he’s maybe looking for better than the First Division."

McInally was also quoted on Sturm in the Evening Times, he said : "We will be sitting down with him [Sturm] this week and trying to sort some kind of deal out. But he doesn't come cheap." The fact that he doesn't come cheap suggests that there may be a problem with money for wages which doesn't look good when you see that the same article also states we will have to beat Gretna, Dunfermline and Dundee to his signature.

Dundee (and Dunfermline) play in the same division as us and personally I think it will be very disappointing if we lose out on Sturm after having him in for three trial matches. Especially considering Dundee are not 'something better that the first division'.


Dundee Match On The Tuesday

A post on http://www.gmfc.net/ has cleared up any doubt surrounding the day of the Dundee CIS Insurance Cup fixture. The match will be played on Tuesday the 7th August with a 7.30pm kick off.

Prices are :

Adults - £12
Concessions (u-16s & OAPs) - £6

Morton Dark Horses?

Saturday's Scottish Sun had a free guide to the Scottish Football Season 2007/08 inside. Every SPL and SFL club has a short analysis of how those at the Sun think each team will do next season.

For anyone who missed it, here's Morton's write up :

"MORTON have spent years trying to get into the First Division - now they will push to get back out of it.

The Greenock men finally clinched promotion last season after a series of heartbreaking near misses in previous campaigns.

They certainly proved they can mix it with the big boys with a sensational 3-1 Scottish Cup win over SPL side Kilmarnock back in January.

And many believe Jim McInally's side, who will be roared on by bumper crowds, could be the First Division's dark horses this term.

McInally has strengthened his squad by signing John McGeogh [sic] from Celtic and Kieran McAnespie from Alloa.

He has also fixed up rookie Rangers keeper Lee Robinson on loan after last season's No1 Paul Mathers took up a player/coach role at East Fife.

KEY MAN : Peter Weatherson"

Arthurlie Friendly Confirmed

Morton have confirmed Thursday's friendly against Arthurlie on http://www.gmfc.net/ .

The match - to be played at Arthurlie's Dunterlie Park (pictured) in Barrhead - is this Thursday (2nd of August) and kicks off at 7pm.

Prices are :

Adults - £3
Children - £1

Coakley Offered 1 Year Deal

I was passed a link to a Morton fan's Bebo page with a comment on it by Adam Coakley who says : "thanks m8 they have offered me a year so think ill be signing!".

I've no reason to think someone would be sad enough to create a fake Bebo page for Adam Coakley so on that basis it looks like he could be our next signing.

Hopefully Craig (who I worked with) doesn't mind lots of Morton supporters invading his Bebo on this link and clicking on 'comments' and going to the second page : http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MID=367137231&MemberId=3884677489

St. Mirren 1 - 0 Morton

St. Mirren 1 - Corcoran (37)
Morton 0

Attendance : 4,595

St. Mirren retained the Renfrewshire Cup after a pretty uninspiring match at Love Street.

St. Mirren's Marc Corcoran scored the only goal of the match with a left foot shot across Lee Robinson from inside the box. The goal came after a comedy of errors by the Morton defence - after Brady's shot crashed off the bar Kevin Finlayson allowed the ball to bounce over his head instead of clearing. The ball fell to Corcoran whos tame shot went straight to Harding who's very poor clearance went right back to Corcoran who finished at the second time of asking.

Morton's best chance of the first half fell to trialist Jani Sturm who raced on to a ball over the top but his attempted lob landed the wrong side of the post (pictured - courtesy of http://www.tontastic.com/ - click to enlarge) .

Alex Walker had a goal disallowed in the second half and Sturm had a couple of efforts that St. Mirren's goalkeeper dealt with fairly comfortably. Apart from those efforts Morton rarely threatened.

Another interesting feature of the match was McInally's restructuring of the team at half time. Weatherson was pushed up front and we brought on Jay Shields and Kieran McAnespie to change from a 3-5-1-1 to a 4-4-2. Ths also saw Jim McAlister move to a central role with McAnespie on the left hand side. This change of personnel, their positions and the team formation is quite concerning with a week to go until the season starts as it suggests Jim McInally doesn't know what formation he will go with or who his best first XI are and where they should play. I especially don't think Alex Walker is suited to the centre half role and neither is MacGregor suited to the defensive midfield role.

Hopefully come next Saturday we will have made a few signings and Jim has a definite idea of how we will line up.

Morton Team

1. Robinson - 7
2. Weatherson - 7 (No number. Graham - 85 mins)
3. MacGregor - 5 (14. McAnespie - 46 mins - 7)
4. Harding - 6 (16. Keenan - 78 mins)
5. Greacen - 6
6. Finlayson - 4 (15. Shields [trialist] - 46 mins - 7)
7. Millar - 6
8. Stevenson - 7 (12. Templeman - 72 mins)
9. Sturm [trialist] - 7
10. Walker - 6
11. McAlister - 7

Unused Subs

17. Coakley [trialist]
18. Gildbride
20. McGurn

Sunday Mail Match Report - http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/sport/football/tm_headline=buddies-fare-well-as-mark-hits-ton&method=full&objectid=19537199&siteid=64736-name_page.html

Tele' Match Report - http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=9207

Quotes from McInally - http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=195 & http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=9206


Seidou Catches The Eye

According to Bert Mitchell's article in tonight's Evening Times French trialist Fabrice Seidou (pictured) has impressed Morton manager Jim McInally. Of Seidou's performance against Rangers McInally said "There were a lot of positives to take from the Murray Park game, not least the fact that a French trialist we fielded caught the eye and took his goal well."

Seidou also played against Stenhousemuir on Wednesday night and showed flashes of promise but his early withdrawal due to injury meant it was hard to properly assess his ability. However, going by McInally's comments it seems that there is a strong possibilty Seidou could turn out to be one of the strikers the manager is looking for.


Name : Fabrice Seidou
Age : 20 (d.o.b. - 19.12.1986)
Position : Striker
Nationality : French / Ivorian (born in the Ivory Coast)
Height : 5' 7"
Former Clubs : Niort (France)

St. Mirren v Morton Preview

Tomorrow Morton travel to Paisley for the last ever Renfrewshire Cup final to be played at Love Street. With St. Mirren moving to a new stadium in 2008 this could effectively be the last ever match, in any competition, between the clubs at Love Street.

Morton travel to Love Street with a few injuries : Craig Black (broken foot) and Scott McLaughlin (broken & dislocated wrist) are definitely out. There are also doubts over the fitness of Bobby Linn and Kieran McAnespie but both players got a run out against Rangers and could be fit for Saturday.

There has been no confirmation of whether trialists are available for this match. The general consensus is that they haven't been permitted in the past which could see Jani Sturm, Jay Shields, Adam Coakley and Fabrice Seidou all inelligible to play. However some St. Mirren fans are suggesting they have two trialists lined up to play.

According to Stuart Gillespie at http://www.saintmirren.net/ "Eddie Malone and Ian Maxwell are both missing through injury, as is long term victim Craig Molloy. Mark Corcoran could also be out after sustaining an injury in Thursday’s friendly win over Dumbarton." Gillespie also says that new signings Mark Howard, Gary Mason, Will Haining and Craig Dargo should all play a part tomorrow.

Kenny Clark will referee the match.

Match Info (from http://www.saintmirren.net/ )

This match is all ticket and tickets are priced at :

Adult - £10
Under 16/OAP - £5
Wheelchair Users - Free ( Carer - £5)

Tickets can be purchased tomorrow at the Matchday Shop (at the Love Street end of the ground next to the car park) from 10:00am until 3:00pm. Please note that the St. Mirren website doesn't indicate if this is for home fans only.

A matchday programme will be available priced at £2.

Tele' preview : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=9189

St. Mirren's Official Website preview (you must be a registered user to see it)

Evening Times preview : http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/display.var.1577855.0.0.php

McInally Wants Sturm

A football snippet in today's Sun claims that Jim McInally has "opened talks" with Jani Sturm.

The piece also says that McInally is keen on Jay Shields and is still hopeful of getting Paul McGowan.


Arthurlie Friendly Announced

According to Arthurlie's official website Morton will play them in a friendly match on Thursday 2nd August, 7pm kick off at Dunterlie Park.
Arthurlie are a relatively large junior club who play their football in Barrhead and compete in the West Of Scotland Superleague Premier Division.

One of their most recent signings is former Morton player Stevie Aitken.

Rangers 0 - 2 Morton

A thread on the http://www.greenockmorton.net/ messageboard seems to suggest that we beat Rangers 2 - 0 in a bounce match at Murray Park this morning.

Bobby Linn and Fabrice Seidou are rumoured to have scored the goals against a Rangers team that included : Andy Webster, Kirk Broadfoot, Liobr Sionko, Alan Gow, DeMarcus Beasley, Nacho Novo, Chris Burke, Jordan McMillan, Alan Lowing and Filip Sebo.

The result hasn't been confirmed anywhere and there doesn't appear to be any Morton team information available.

Update - Rangers' official website has some pictures of the game - they can be viewed here

1) Templeman (and Broadfoot)
2) Greacen (and Sebo)
3) Gilbride (and Broadfoot)
4) Millar (and Gow)
5) Ally McCoist
6) Linn ( and Lowing)
7) Seidou (and Broadfoot)
8) Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall
9) Sturm (and MacMillan)
10) McGeough - front, Philip - background, Linn - right (and Novo)
11) Robinson (and Lowing)

Tele' article by Russell Steele with quotes from Jim McInally : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=9190

Jani Sturm - Analysis

Jani Sturm - Morton's Slovenian trialist - made a huge impression on me in tonight's match against Stenhousemuir.

Earlier in the week a newspaper report contained a quote from Jim McInally in which he stated that Jani Sturm is a player who likes to operate behind a front two on tonights showing I don't think that's the case. For me his two goals (one a back post header and the other a tap in) showed that he is a predatory striker. He is also the type who likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender and attempt to get in behind getting on the end of through balls or balls over the top.

For me Sturm's movement and instinct were of a striker who should be playing at a higher level. He regularly ghosted away from his marker and found lots of space in the box when lesser players would struggle to find any.

Personally, I think McInally will definitely attempt to sign Sturm and that his claim that the Stenny match would be full of youths and not worth going to was to put off any interested scouts from turning up at this match. However it didn't work and I spotted Dundee manager Alex Rae and Hamilton Accies manager Billy Reid in the stand. Even more worrying was that they all left the ground the minute Sturm was substituted.

Hopefully Morton don't mess about and get Sturm to sign a contract as soon as possible.


Stenhousemuir 1 - 3 Morton

Stenhousemuir 1 - McLaughlin (80)
Morton 3 - Sturm (27, 39), Smith (o.g. 79)

Tonight's friendly at Ochilview turned out to be much more important than Jim McInally claimed in the Tele' today. Not only did the match feature a Morton team packed with fringe players but also five trialists, one of whom was the much talked about Jani Sturm.

Sturm had an excellent night and opened the scoring with a textbook downwards header back across the goalkeeper after a Jamie Stevenson cross.

His second was a tap in at the back post after a centre from a French trialist who was wearing the number 11 shirt. Ther move was started off by a particularly impressive precision through ball by new signing Darren McGeough.

Morton's scoring was complete in the 79th minute - a teasing cross from substitute Gary Loughran was headed into the net by Stenhousemuir's number 5 Jamie Smith.

Stenny's consolation came a minute later when former Celtic winger Brian McLaughlin finished with a nice shot from the edge of the box.

Of the trialists Jani Sturm was particularly impressive. The black Frenchman (Fabrice Seidou) who partnered him up front looked okay but it was hard to judge after he was injured and substituted as a result. Jay Shields looked good and may be worth a contract but I'd suggest that we wont be seeing Coakley at Cappielow next season after another anonymous 90 minutes. The final trialist looked like left back Gary Philip who was with the club last season, I don't know why he was listed as a trialist.

Morton Team

20. Robinson - 7
2. Shields [trialist] - 7
3. Phillips [trialist] - 6
4. Keenan - 7
5. Gilbride - 6
6. McGeough - 7
7. Graham - 6
8. Stevenson - 7
9. Sturm [trialist] - 8 (15. Loughran - 65 mins)
10. Coakley [trialist] - 6
11. Seidou [trialist] - 6 (14. Templeman - 43 mins)

Unused Subs

1. McGurn
12. Harding

McGowan Deal To Be Sorted Out This Week

In today's Greenock Telegraph Jim McInally is quoted as saying that this week is crucial in sorting out the Paul McGowan transfer situation. According to the manager we will either sign McGowan or "kill the deal" this week.

Roger Graham goes on to state that Celtic's valuation of Paul - believed to be around £150,000 - is still the problem.

Closed Doors Game Against Rangers

In today's Evening Times' Bert Mitchell revealed that Morton have agreed to play a closed doors friendly against Rangers on Thursday morning.

Jim McInally decided to accept Rangers' proposal after the cancellation of the Lancaster friendly.

In the article McInally says that Jani Sturm will get the chance to impress in this match. This would suggest - although it doesn't actually say it - that he will not play in tomorrow night's game against Stenhousemuir.

Arguably the most interesting piece of information to be taken from the article is that McInally says Sturm is "the type of player who likes to slot in behind a front two".


Stenhousemuir v Morton Preview

Morton take on Stenhousemuir at Ochilview tomorrow night in a match that I thought would have taken on more significance after the match against Lancaster City was cancelled last night. However a news item on http://www.gmfc.net/ says that it will be a Morton XI who will play the match and that it will give some of our younger players the chance to get a game under their belts.

There is no mention of Jani Šturm but I suspect he will still get a run out as he has travelled all the way from Slovenia and with the cancellation of last night's match the game against Stenny will be the last chance Jim McInally will have to see him in match action in front of a crowd.

The game kicks off at 7.45pm and the prices are : Adults - £5, OAPs and U-16s - £3.


Livingston At Cappielow In The Challenge Cup

Today Morton were drawn against Livingston in the 1st round of the Challenge Cup. The match will be played at Cappielow on either Tuesday 14th or Wednesday 15th August.

In this round the tournament is regionalised with Morton entered into the South / West half of the draw.


Lancaster Match Cancelled At The Last Minute

The hastily arranged friendly between Morton and Lancaster City was cancelled around about 40 minutes before kick-off last night due to a large puddle forming in the corner of the pitch after a heavy burst of rain.

The match was arranged to replace a friendly against Chester City - which was also rained off.

This second cancellation damages Morton's preparation for the new season and denied manager Jim McInally the chance to have a look at Slovenian trialist Jani Sturm in action.

Wednesday's match against Stenhousemuir should take on more significance as a result of tonight's events.

Picture of the pitch : http://www.greenockmorton.net/forum/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=3116


Morton To Play Lancaster City

Morton have announced that we will now play Lancaster City tomorrow after the Chester City friendly was cancelled on Friday night.

Yesterday Douglas Rae entered the enclosure behind the Morecambe goal to tell the Morton support of the newly arranged match. Amazingly he then proceeded to vault the perimeter fence to cross the pitch to the mainstand however the athletic move didn't go according to plan as Rae landed on his backside after clearing the fence. Hopefully the only thing that was injured was our chairman's pride.

Lancaster currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One North after asking for a double relegation due to financial problems. They were originally relegated from the Nationwide Conference North after finishing 22nd in 2006/07.

I don't expect this to be much of a test but it's better than not playing anyone at all. According to http://www.gmfc.net/ Slovenian trialist Jani Sturm will play in the match.

The match kicks off at 7.30pm.



Morecambe 3 - 0 Morton

Morecambe 3 - Baker (pen 19), Hunter (65), Newby (88)
Morton 0

Attendance - 740

In an uninspiring pre-season friendly Morton were comfortably beaten by Coca League 2 side Morecambe .

Morecambe took the lead in the 19th minute when Stewart Greacen scythed down fromer Manchester United youngster Michael Twiss on the edge of the box. It was a needless, clumsy and reckless foul with Twiss facing away from goal and right at the edge of the box. He also committed a similar foul outside the box a few minutes earlier. I fear that this clumsy streak in Stewart's game could see him found out at 1st division level. Carl Baker tucked away the resulting penalty. I've uploaded a video of the penalty onto Youtube which can be viewed below, apologies for the poor quality.

Morecambe doubled their lead in the second half when Lee Robinson parried a hard shot in to the path of onrushing Hunter - who finished well. I'd say that Robinson was at fault with this goal, he parried the shot forward rather than tipping it over the bar or out to the side. Robinson however, was the one big positive we can take from this game. He made about 4 outstanding saves, regularly keeping us in the match. He looks very agile and his distribution from the back is excellent.

Morecambe's final goal was a sweeping counter attack from one end of the pitch to the other finally converted by John Newby.

Overall this match highlighted our deficencies. We played poorly and were out muscled in all departments. Although we hit the woodwork three times Stevenson freekick off the base of the post, Weatherson shot off the post and a Millar cross-cum-shot off the bar we rarely threatened in what was a disappointing match for Morton.

On this showing I think Lee Robinson will be a tremendous asset next season and Peter Weatherson shows signs of class that no one else in the team is capable of. But I don't think Adam Coakley is up to much and for me isn't worthy of a contract. Jay Shields - listed as a trialist - came on as a substitute and didn't have much time to make an impact.

Morton Team (3-5-2)

20. Robinson - 8
2. Walker - 6
3. MacGregor - 7
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 4
6. Finlayson - 6 (15. Shields - 71 mins)
7. Millar - 6
8. Stevenson - 5 (17. Graham - 79 mins)
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Coakley - 6 (12. Templeman - 65 mins)
11. McAlister - 7

Unused Subs

1. McGurn
14. Keenan
16. Gilbride
18. McGeough

Morecambe Team : Wight, Howard, Adams, Artell, Bentley, Stanley, Baker, Sorvel, Curtis, Twiss, BurnsSubs: Tynan, Hunter, McLachlan, Langford, Walmsley, McNiven, Newby

* Picture - Image from the game - click to enlarge



Chester Friendly Cancelled

A news story on http://www.gmfc.net/ has announced that the pre-season friendly against Chester City has been cancelled due to severe storm warnings and the fact that the pitch at the Deva Stadium was already flooded.

There was a pitch inspection planned for tomorrow but the postponement was considered a formality so Chester decided to make the announcement now rather than wait. The match was scheduled to be played on Monday 23rd July.

The news follows the cancellation of Raith Rovers friendly against the same opponents last Saturday.



5 Day Weather forecast for Chester : http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/5day.shtml?id=1462

* Picture : The Deva Stadium - Flooded

Injury News

News from today's Greenock Telegraph (by Roger Graham) : Craig Black joins Morton's injury list after breaking a bone in his foot in yesterday's bounce match against Motherwell.

Bobby Linn has a strained achilles tendon and will be out for around a week which means he will miss the games in England.

There is also some good news on the injury front in that Jamie Stevenson has recovered from a toe injury. Kieran McAnespie and Chris Templeman were both given the green light ater visiting a specialist.


Coakley's Goal v Gretna & Lee Robinson's Save (Not Great Quality)

Clip Taken from a Gretna fan's Bebo page.

Clip 2 - Lee Robinson Tips a Jenkins shot on to the post http://bebo.com/watch/4428449768

Motherwell 1 - 1 Morton

A post on Motherwell fan site http://www.welltrustfc.net/ says that Morton drew 1 - 1 with Motherwell in a bounce match today.

The post goes on to say that it was a young Motherwell team who took the lead and Morton equalised with a penalty scored by Bobby Linn (according to Mabawsa Ritchie in a post on http://www.greenockmorton.net/).

McLaughlin Out For A Couple Of Months

According to a news item on Inverclyde Now Scott McLaughlin suffered a broken and dislocated wrist during last night's match at Gretna. Manager Jim McInally says he expects Scott to be out of action for a "couple of months at least".

The injury happened right in front me and looked serious straight away. The policewoman standing behind me said she heard a crack and Scott was stretchered off clutching his arm.

It's very disappointing news considering the lack of depth in our squad at the moment. I'm sure all Morton fans wish Scott a speedy recovery.


Morton v Motherwell

Morton are set to take on another SPL side tonight in the shape of last season's Scottish Cup opponents Motherwell.

The match was mentioned in Chris Fitzgerald's Tele article on Tom Brighton and Jani Sturm. There were no specific match details given other than that the game is a bounce game and that Jim McInally will try to give all his players 90 minutes between this match and last night's victory at Gretna.

Gretna 0 - 2 Morton

Gretna 0
Morton 2 - Weatherson (17), Coakley (43)

Morton manager Jim McInally predicted that Gretna would give his team 'a wee bit of a run around' in our first pre-season outing of the 2007/08 season. It would seem that Jim sold his boys a little short.

A determined, hard working and somewhat depleted Morton side took the game to their SPL opponents and emerged with a fully deserved 2-0 victory.

Peter Weatherson - playing up front - opened the scoring when he chested down a long diagonal ball from the right to put him one-on-one with the Gretna goalkeeper and he was coolness personified as he lifted the ball over the keeper.

The second goal was scored by trialist Adam Coakley. Jim McAlister showed nice skill on the left wing, he broke into the box and cut back for Coakley who neatly side stepped his man by letting the ball run across his body and then wrong footed the keeper with a tidy side footed finish.

Lee Robinson made his debut as a second half substitute for Davie McGurn and made one notable save when he tipped Jenkins' goal bound volley onto the post. His kick outs were also impressive.

The only dampener of the night came when Scott McLaughlin was stretchered off with some sort of wrist or arm injury after an awkward fall.

Morton Team (3-5-2)

1. McGurn - 7 (20. Robinson 45 mins)
2. Weatherson - 7
3. MacGregor - 6
4. Millar - 6
5. Greacen - 8
6. McLaughlin - 6 ( 12 . Keenan 75 mins)
7. Harding - 7
8. Walker - 6
9. Coakley - 7 (14. Templeman 74 mins)
10. Finlayson - 8
11. McAlister - 8

15. Graham
16. Gilbride

Gretna team: Trialist, Cowan, Skelton, Jenkins, Birch, Innes (Grainger 67), Osman, Deverdics (Baldacchino 46), McMenamin, Yantorno (very impressive in spells) , Graham. Subs not used: Wright.

Tele' match report : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=9129

Gretna match report : http://www.gretnafootballclub.co.uk/news/?p=390

Reaction from Jim McInally in the Evening Times : http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/display.var.1556251.0.0.php

* Picture - A Morton corner in tonight's match (click to enlarge)

Slovenian Targeted In Place Of Brighton

Morton are set to 'take a look' at Slovenian striker Jani Sturm according to today's Greenock Telegraph . Sturm recently had a trial with Dundee United but Craig Levein decided against signing him saying "Neither [Sturm or Marc - Eric Guei ] showed enough to convince me that a longer stay was warranted and both have been told so. It's disappointing, but it's important we get the right type of player for this role". Chris Fitzgerald's article states that Sturm's agent contacted Jim McInally.

Sturm's most recent club was NK Gorica in his native Slovenia. At Gorica he sampled European football playing in Champions League qualifiers. A selection of his goals can be viewed on youtube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jani+Sturm&search=Search

McInally has turned his attention to Sturm after it emerged that Tom Brighton has an ankle injury that will rule him out of action for a considerable period of time.

The article also mentioned that former Hibs right back Jay Shields is training with the club and that although McInally is not looking to sign a defender he says he would definitely sign Shields if the chance presented itself.

* Pictures - Jani Sturm (left), Jay Shields (right)


Dundee In The League Cup

Morton face Dundee at Dens Park in the 1st round of the CIS Insurance (League) cup. The tie is the only all-first division match that came out in the draw made at Hampden yesterday.

The tie will be played on either Tuesday 7th August or Wednesday 8th August.

Personally, I think Dundee away is about the hardest draw we could've been given and unless we make a couple of spectacular signings very soon I fear we will be falling at the first hurdle in this year's competition.

Gretna v Morton Preview

Tonight Morton play their first pre-season fixture of 2007/08 against SPL new boys Gretna. The match was originally scheduled to be played at Motherwell's Fir Park (where Gretna will groundshare this season) but was recently switched to Raydale Park. Kick-off is 7.00 pm.

The match will give Morton fans the chance to see our new signings and possibly one or two trialists in action for the first time. Lee Robinson and Kieran McAnespie should be expected to start. 17 year old midfielder Darren McGeough has been tipped to challenge for a first team place this season and on that basis could feature at some point. Trialists Adam Coakley and Steven McLung could also be involved. McInally explicitly said that Coakley had impressed him and that he would be involved in friendlies this week but there was no mention of McLung so it's unclear if he will participate.

There may be fitness doubts surrounding David MacGregor, Kieran McAnespie , Chris Templeman and Bobby Linn after they missed the bounce game against Albion Rovers on Saturday.

The match should allow any interested Morton fans to judge whether the hype surrounding Gretna's Uruguayan midfielder Fabian Yantorno is justified or not.

I will try to put up a match report (or match details at least) either when I come back from the game tonight or Thursday.

Admission prices are £7 for adults and £3 for Under 16's and OAPs.

Match Details : http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=185


Bits And Bobs

As well as the story about Morton targeting Tom Brighton (see story below) there are also a few other bits of Morton news in today's Greenock Telegraph.

According to Chris Fitzgerald Jim McInally was very impressed with trialist Adam Coakley's performance against Albion Rovers at the weekend. He specifically says he turns brilliantly (similar style to Paul McGowan) and has a touch of class. He also reveals that he considered loaning him from Motherwell last season and that he will get a run out against Gretna.

McInally says 'people' have said we should pay £100,000 for McGowan but that he wont - the price would have to drop before he considered a deal.

Chris Millar and Jamie Stevenson were the goalscorers against Albion Rovers on Saturday. MacGregor, McAnespie , Templeman and Linn were not involved due to injuries.

Morton Target Tom Brighton

Morton supporters should be cheered up by today's news that Jim McInally has targeted Millwall's Tom Brighton as a potential signing.

Chris Fitgerald's article in the Greenock Telegraph does not state what stage any potential transfer is at but does say 'this latest news [Brighton left out of Millwall's friendly at Dundee] could trigger transfer talks between the clubs' so it would seem that any move is in it's infancy and there may not have been any contact between the clubs as yet.

I remember watching Brighton play for Clyde a few times and I was very impressed. Hopefully this ambitious move doesn't go the same way as the Sutton and Mensing signing attempts.

Name : Tom Brighton
Age : 23 (d.o.b. - 28.03.1984)
Position : Striker
Nationality : Scottish
Height : 6' 2"
Former Clubs : Rangers, Scunthorpe (loan), Clyde, Millwall




Where Are They Now?

Former Morton striker Alex Williams recently signed for Ayr United. Ayr are the latest club in a long line that includes Stirling Albion, Morton, Queen of the South (loan), Clyde, Armadale (Australia), Ross County and Clyde (again).

Alex began his career at Stirling Albion and after two very impressive seasons - 21 goals in 61 games - and a Bells Young Player of the Year award Morton signed him for £50,000 in 2002. His first six months at Cappielow were phenomenal scoring 24 goals by the end of January. After that the goals dried up and he only got 4 more in the rest of the campaign, although two of those came in the crucial win away at Stirling Albion. A seasons tally of 28 in all competitions was an excellent return and earned him the SPFA 3rd division player of the year award.

2003/04 wasn't a happy season for Alex as Morton threw away the league and he became embroiled in the betting scam allegations. He did, however, manage to score 17 goals.

2004/05 was his final season in a Morton shirt. He managed 2 goals before being shipped out on loan to Queen of the South and then freed at the end of the season due to his unprofessional behaviour.

Depending on who you ask Alex Williams is either a Morton hero or a wee ______ (fill in yourself) who made a fool of the club - maybe both. Whatever your opinion I don't think there's much argument that he was the main reason we won the 3rd division title in 2002/03 and a talented footballer as well - if only he had his head screwed on right.

Morton Career (all competitions)

2002/03 - Played - 37, Goals - 28
2003/04 - Played - 30 (10), Goals - 17
2004/05 - Played 15 (6), Goals - 2

Total - Played 82 (16 sub), Goals - 47

Awards - SPFA 3rd Division Player of the Year
Bells Young Player of the Month - Aug 2002, Nov 2002, April 2003

Season Tickets Have Arrived

Morton season books for 2007/08 season have finally arrived from the printers in Rotherham. The books were originally delayed due to errors in the books and floods in Rotherham.

Morton say the books will be available for collection from 2pm on Tuesday the 17th of July.


Delayed : http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=173


Morton 2 - 3 Albion Rovers

Morton fan Alan Redman (Salty / Thornton on the messageboards) has text me to say that the closed door match with Albion Rovers did go ahead today but at 11.00am as was rumoured - not 1.00 pm which was also rumoured.

Upon arriving at the Sports centre in Largs the players were leaving and one of the Albion Rovers players told him the final score was 3-2 to Albion. A post on greenockmorton.net by Tonsilitis seems to confirm this. He also adds that Morton fielded a different team in each half.

Renfrewshire Cup Final All Ticket

Morton have announced that the Renfrewshire Cup Final will be all ticket. The match will be played at Love Street on Saturday the 28th July and Morton will receive an allocation of 2869 tickets.

The prices are :

Adults - £10 ,

U-16s & OAPs - £5

Tickets are available in Smiths and have been on sale since 10am this morning. They will also be available from Cappielow from Monday 16th July.



Morton v Albion Rovers

A rumour on the greenockmorton.net messageboard suggests that Morton play Albion Rovers at the National Sports Centre in Largs tomorrow.

The match is closed door and kicks off at 1.00pm.

There has been no official confirmation of this match.



A football snippet in today's Sun claims that the fee Celtic are looking for for Paul McGowan is £200,000.

Anyone willing to pay that for him would need their head looked at. Thankfully Jim McInally says Celtic want too much money for him and the deal wont be happening.

* Picture - McGowan (No. 10) - playing for Celtic


Celtic Want Too Much For McGowan

At the bottom of the McLung / Coakley article Chris Fitzgerald also reveals that Morton are having trouble signing Paul McGowan permanently.

According to Jim McInally Celtic want too much for McGowan and it would seem Morton are unwilling to match their valuation. However McInally doesn't seem to have completely written off Morton's chances of getting him saying that it's a case of waiting and trying to reach an agreement.


Coakley Now At Cappielow On Trial

Last month Morton denied a story that appeared in the Evening Times was true. The story claimed that Morton were interested in Adam Coakley who was recently released by Motherwell. However today's Greenock Telegraph carries a story that Coakley is now on trial at Cappielow with Scott McLung (revealed yesterday).

Jim McInally admitted that Morton had contacted Coakley previously when they offered him - through his agent - the chance to train with us. This is in spite of claims by Douglas Rae that Morton had no interest in Coakley.

In the article Chris Fitzgerald says that Coakley is at Cappielow after 'failing to earn a deal at Partick Thistle'. McInally, however, words it differently. He says : "He went to Thistle for a while, but I don't think he settled there". For me the wording here is important - if Fitzgerald is correct and Coakley failed to get a deal rather than failing to settle this seems like another concerning move in the transfer market. If he isn't good enough for Partick Thistle he shouldn't be good enough for Morton. I hope Jim's right and he just 'didn't settle'.


Rae denies interest : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=8903

Ryan Russell Rejected Contract Offer

The doubt surrounding Ryan Russell's status at Cappielow can finally be cleared up - he has definitely left the club.

Last week I emailed the club to ask if Russell had been released and I received a reply today saying : "At the end of last season Ryan was offered a further years contract, but after consideration felt he was unable to accept our offer."


Darren McGeough For The First Team

In the soccerbriefs section of the Evening Times Online website Jim McInally says that 17 year old midfielder Darren McGeough has impressed so much that he could push for a first team place next season.

McGeough signed from Celtic last month and at that time McInally labelled him 'one for the future'.

Goalkeeper Lee Robinson - on loan from Rangers - is also quoted. He says that he is here for first team football even though he knows he will be in a battle with McGurn for the number 1 jersey.

* Picture - Darren McGeough warming up at Morecambe (click to enlarge)

East Kilbride Thistle Player On Trial

A news story on the East Kilbride Thistle (juniors) website says that Morton have taken their 24 year old striker Steven 'Dunga' McClung on a two week trial.

McLung signed for East Kilbride from their u-21 team in August 2005. In 2 years he has scored 34 goals in 60 games and this has attracted the attention of top junior sides like Arthurlie.

However McClung sounded determined to impress at Morton when he said : "This is a real opportunity for me and I want to knuckle down and show the club that I could be worthy of the chance. I must admit I was nervous when I arrived on Monday but the boys were very welcoming and they made me feel part of it. But I’m not getting ahead of myself just now as I know I’ve got to work hard to have any chance of earning a deal. It really is exciting for me and I had a look at Morton’s pre-season fixtures so there’s a chance for me to really do something here. The first day was all about settling in and I’m expecting to get worked really hard in the next fortnight.”

Name : Steven McLung
Age : 24
Position : Striker
Nationality: Scottish
Club : East Kilbride Thistle
Signed : August 2005
Played : 60
Goals : 34
Previous Club : East Kilbride Thistle u-21s

Morton Supporters Bus to Gretna

Next Wednesday Morton play Gretna in our first pre-season fixture. The game will be played at Raydale Park with a 7.00pm kick-off.

The Albert Hotel Morton Supporters have announced they will not be running a bus to this match. However John Gisbey (Giz) at the Morton Supporters Club has posted on the AHMS messageboards to say that their club will be running a bus.

The bus will leave the club on Regent Street at 3.30pm and prices are £8 for adults and £6 for children. You can book a seat by calling Giz on 07909 997071.

Grindlay Signs For Queen Of The South

Former Dumbarton goalkeeper Stephen Grindlay has signed for fellow 1st division team Queen of the South.

Last month a news story on the Dumbarton website stated that Grindlay had signed for Morton as did a subsequent story on the BBC sport website. However later in the day Dumbarton retracted the story as Grindlay contacted them to say that he hadn't signed for us.

Gretna's David Bingham has joined Grindlay at Queen of the South but on a loan deal.




Morton Miss Out On Polish Striker

Morton have missed out on Paweł Buśkiewicz - a 24 year old Polish striker targeted by Jim McInally after he had seen a video of him play.

In today's Greenock Telegraph Roger Graham reveals that Buśkiewicz has decided to leave his current club Beveren in Belgium to re-sign for Polish club Gronik Zabrze (who he played for between 2003 and 2005) rather than come to Greenock on trial.

Buśkiewicz had an unsuccesful trial at Kilmarnock in January 2006.

Name : Paweł Buśkiewicz
Age : 24 (d.o.b. - 18.03.1983)
Position : Striker
Nationality : Poland
International : Former u-21
Height : 6' 2"
Former Clubs : Polonia Warsaw (Poland), Gornik Zabrze (Poland), Ethnikos (Greece), Lask Linz (Austria), Beveren (Belgium)

Morton Miss Out On Polish Striker

According to the back page story in today's Tele' Morton have missed out on a Polish striker.

More details to follow when I get the Tele'.


Chester City Admission Prices

Admission prices for Morton's pre-season friendly against Chester City on Monday the 23rd of July are :

Adults : £13
OAPs / Students* : £8
Children (U-16) : £3

* Students must have a valid NUS card and present it at the ticket office, you can't present it at the turnstyle.

Andy Morrison will be running an unoffical webcast for the Chester match which you can subscribe to here : http://www.gmfc.net/gmfc-webcasts.asp

The Morecambe admission prices were announced as - Adults £8, concessions £4.

Chester Prices : http://www.gmfc.net/club-news/news-view.asp?id=177

Morecambe Prices: http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2007/07/morecambe-admission-prices.html