THREE of Morton’s most promising young players have spoken of their delight at signing their first full-time development deals at the club.

Alexander Easdale, Reece Lyon and Nathan Durham all penned two-year contracts as they made the step-up from Ton’s youth academy to join Darren Barr’s under-20s outfit on a permanent basis. 

And the three youngsters are all thrilled to have committed their futures to the Greenock side.

Ex-Aberdeen kid Easdale, 17, has been thoroughly enjoying pre-season in a tougher environment and says he hopes to be able to emulate the likes of fellow striker Jai Quitongo, who has made the step-up from the development squad to the first team in recent times.

He told the Tele: “It’s good to have taken the very first steps towards the first team. 

“I’m keen to learn and I’m happy that I’ve got a contract now. I’ve been with the boys for many years at Morton so it’s good to have stayed on with them.

“Pre-season has been good so far but I want to keep at it. It’s going to be tough but it’s part of the job. 

“Going into a different changing room with different players and people has improved my fitness and improved my confidence as well.

“You’ve got to look up to the boys who have made the move from the development squad. 

“Lewis Strapp, Scott Tiffoney and obviously Jai Quitongo, you want to be like them and eventually do what they’ve achieved. 

“But you’ve firstly got to work hard, take every training session and if you get a chance in these games, try and do well and hope someone sees it.”

Reece Lyon — a midfielder — has been at Ton for a few years already and is hopeful that he can impress manager Jim Duffy whenever he and assistant Craig McPherson make it along to the development games this season.

He called his deal a ‘dream come true’ because he’s been able to continue playing football for his local team.

He said: “It feels amazing. It’s like a dream come true to sign a full-time deal with Morton. I just want to do my absolute best for the 20s and if my time comes, try and do as well as I can like other players have done before me.

“I’ve been at Morton since I was around 13 or 14. I’m from Greenock as well so it’s my home club and that’s great. 

“It doesn’t happen for too many players.

“It’s a bit of positive pressure for you to make sure you’re always giving your all on the pitch.  I enjoy a bit of that because you need to knuckle down off and on the pitch and it shows.”

Seventeen-year-old defender Nathan Durham is most excited to be working with ex-Falkirk, Hearts and Dumbarton defender Darren Barr, pictured, and is looking forward to learning from the Scottish Cup winner.

He told the Tele: “It’s good to have Darren Barr’s experience in the changing room, especially knowing that I obviously play in the same position as him. 

“He knows what he’s doing, so the advice during and after training is really helpful.”