MORTON defender Ricki Lamie has backed his ex-team-mates to succeed elsewhere after leaving the club this summer.

Ton released several stars at the end of last season, including Jon Scullion, Kudus Oyenuga, Conor Pepper and Jamie McDonagh. 

But Lamie reckons it won’t be long until they all find new clubs.

The 23-year-old centre-back was speaking from experience having been released elsewhere himself as a youngster, and he admits it was a character building process that helped him improve as a player before Jim Duffy secured his services at Cappielow back in 2014.

And he singled out Scullion for special praise, even going so far as to say the ‘wizard’ is technically the best he has played with at a professional level.

He told the Tele: “Jon Scullion came into the squad the same time as myself and a couple of others and we’ve been here since the gaffer came in, so it’s hard to see the wee man go. 

“It’s never nice and it’s the side of football you wish didn’t exist. But you need to take it on the chin and move on.

“We’re such a tight-knit group here and the guys who have departed will still keep in contact and I wish them the best and every success. 

“They’ll only always be a text away because we’re a close group, and that adds to successes at the end of the day.

“I’ve been there myself where things don’t quite work out but sometimes you actually need that wee change of scenery and that new challenge to kick you on and improve you as a player. 

“The guys who have left are all young guys. I’m saying that as if I’m an experienced pro, but they’re all younger than me!

“But I’ve been released before and came back, tried to improve as a player and build on what I’ve learned. So every single one of them will improve and I don’t think there will be any issues with that. 

“Wee Jon in particular, I don’t doubt there will be a queue looking for his signature because, technically, he’s probably the best I’ve played with. I don’t think you can doubt there will be plenty of suitors.”

Meanwhile, Morton will take on Stenhousemuir in a pre-season friendly at Ochilview on Saturday July 1 with an earlier than usual kick-off time of 2pm.