Little aims to go long way
Published: 22 Jun 2011 12:002 comments
Greenock-born youngster Craeg Little, above, will spend pre-season with the club after his release from SPL side St Mirren at the end of last season.
Laird has spent the past year revamping the Cappielow youth set-up -and the youth chief is eager for first team boss Allan Moore to reap the benefits, with Little one of six youngsters spending pre-season with Ton's full squad.
Little, 18, was a member of the Paisley club's under-19 side last year, and was capped by Scotland at age group level two years ago. Laird told the Tele: "Craig Little signed for us a couple of weeks ago. He was at St Mirren and it is a real feather in our cap.
"Craig will spend the whole of pre-season with the full team along with five others and will look to impress Allan."
Little will be joined by fellow Cappielow prodigies Declan McDaid and striker Ryan McCorkindale after the pair excelled for the Ton youth teams last season.
The duo are still only 15 but have already attracted interest from other clubs - with McDaid being tracked by Leeds United, Sunderland and Celtic.
Laird said: "Declan has already had a trial with Celtic and they have asked if they can take him back for another trial next month.
"The Sunderland and Leeds scouts have also been to see him, and Sunderland have also had a look at young Ryan as well.
"Both are really talented boys. When we played the Celtic under-17s last season young Declan destroyed them.
"He scored a great goal in a bounce game for Morton but didn't celebrate as he didn't want to look like a big-time Charlie. The thing about him is he still doesn't know how good he is."
Premiership side Aston Villa have also expressed an interest in Under-19 striker Steven McAfee - although recent changes at the club have stalled plans for a trial.
Laird added: "Steven McAfee has done really well and he's due to have a trial down at Aston Villa. That hasn't been arranged yet, though, as there has been a bit of change down there with a new manager coming in."