£10,000 Raised For What?

The 2008 Morton Sportsman's dinner, held in Greenock Town Hall last Saturday, was hailed as a huge success and raised £10,000 for Morton's youth set-up.

Russell Steele's article on the Greenock Telegraph website includes video footage of the event. Here you get a wee idea of what the night was like by listening to Dougie Rae, Willie Henderson and Ron Atkinson.

The £10,000 raised will be boosted by the £3000 the Supporters Trust expect to make from the fans' game. However, there are major concerns about Morton's youth set-up. Messageboard regular pgmsc posted this:

That is the reason[.] [There is] no youth licence holder at Club[.] McInally held it [but the]present coaches dont hold level 4 coaching badges [which are the] requirments of SFA.Proposal put that they enter next years u14's and U15's in a unnone unsure where youth league to buy time to meet the requirements.The information was passed on by Jim McColl and Gillian Donaldson [but there was] no football person there [this] means boys can be pick[ed] up by any other club for free come 15th May[.] Total shambles[.] no way will they keep 30 boys + happy for a year playing at a lower level than they have been playing at .The U19's have not been confirmed[,] yet again more spin coming from within a very angry and hostile meeting[.]

pgmsc's posts are usually quite accurate when it comes to the youth set-up so this post raises real concerns - as does the rest of the thread. Another regular, Mags, had this to say:

It's not a case of if your in the 1st division you only play other 1st division teams,or you only play 2nd division teams if your in the 2nd.There are two pro youth leagues,Performance and Development( or is it Initiative?....can't remember! ) Performance is made up of mostly SPL teams and any SFL team who meet the criteria,which includes training facilities,playing ground etc....that's why Ross County and Hamilton play in the top league.Morton play against all other SFL teams from the 3 leagues....but if we can't even make the criteria for that league then our youth set up really is in a bad way.

There are loads of local coaches who have the relevant coaching badges,but Morton aren't willing to pay for their services

There has been no official news released but from what I can make out from the posts on this thread the club are failing to meet pro-youth criteria because the current coaches do not hold the relevant youth coaching licences and the club seem reluctant to rectify the problem.

This is all the more disappointing considering the money raised for youth development by both the Sportsman's Dinner and Fans' Game.

The least the fans should expect is some sort of announcement to tell us what exactly is going on.

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