MARK Russell says he’s ‘chuffed’ to seal his contract extension at Morton, citing several reasons for his decision to commit his immediate future to the club.

Russell extended his deal at Ton for another year until June 2018 and says he’s looking forward to getting the new season started after negotiations dragged on a bit longer than he had hoped.

With pre-season beginning at Parklea yesterday morning, Russell explained that he would ideally have wrapped things up a bit  earlier. 

He admits he’s relieved to finally have it all ready to go straight back in with his team-mates on day one of training.

He told the Tele: “I’m chuffed to finally get it all signed and done, and now I’m looking forward to the new season. 

“It was just a matter of time, really.  I’d spoken to everyone before, my parents, my agent, and it was just a case of getting the deal done and finalised.

“Now it’s all signed and I can look forward to pre-season starting again.”

On talks taking a bit longer than he would’ve liked, Russell replied: “I would say it was the case that we cut it a wee bit finer than I would’ve liked it, but at least it’s all signed and sorted now, I know what I’m doing now and I’m glad I’ll be staying here.”

Russell has made over 100 appearances in a Ton jersey since making his debut against Dumbarton back in 2013 and he insists his exposure to Jim Duffy’s first-team was a key reason for him adding another year onto his Morton contract.

He added: “Playing so many games in the first team at Morton was partly the reason for me signing on and hopefully I can continue to play most of the games and improve as a player over the coming year. 

“I’d like to play most of the games and become a better player. 

“I look forward to playing games and I know if I’m doing well I’ll stay in the team, so I’ll look forward to that and the upcoming season. 

“I’ve looked at the fact that I’ve already made over 100 appearances and I’m only 21-years-old still. 

“Hopefully I can add to that and continue to develop as a player.”

The left-back also revealed another reason for staying at the club was the fact that so many of his team-mates have already put pen to paper on their own new deals. 

Ricki Lamie, Andy Murdoch and Michael Tidser have all extended their deals after being offered the chance to stay by Duffy. 

And fellow defender Michael Doyle also looks set to reach an agreement on a new deal this week.

Russell reckons Morton are heading in the right direction and claims the addition of new faces can help the club push on next season.

He said: “Another factor in me signing my new deal was that the squad has been built up after last year, good players have stayed on and we’ve added a few so it’s looking like a healthy squad with healthy competition, so we want to have an enjoyable and successful season.”