Moore wields his axe

Published: 9 May 2012 11:155 comments

THE Morton squad was ripped to shreds as eight players were shown the door yesterday.

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Manager Allan Moore called in his stunned players and told them who would stay and who would go, as Ton aim to improve next season.

  • Leaving are keepers Colin Stewart and Matt McGinlay, defenders Grant Evans, Ross Forsyth and Marc Smyth, midfielders Darren McGeouch and Iain Flannigan and striker Andy Jackson.
  • OFFERED new deals are defenders Andy Graham and Thomas O'Ware, midfielder Derek Young and strikers Peter MacDonald, Archie Campbell and Peter Weatherson - who is set to enter his testimonial year.
  • And Moore SIGNED Hamilton defender Mark McLaughlin and extended winger David O'Brien's contract for a further year after he turned down the advances of First Division rivals Livingston.

  • Under-19 players Creag Little, Joel Kasubandi have both been released - while Lewis Hawke and Martin Macguire have both been offered no-pay deals with the reserves.

    Captain Stuart McCaffrey had already intimated his decision to retire due to a foot injury that had sidelined him since September, while Paul Di Giacomo and Fouad Bachirou both revealed in the Tele that they would not seek new contracts.

    Moore was keen to thank those players for their efforts on their way out the Cappielow exit door, but he was thrilled to see two players sign contracts for next season.

    Moore told the Tele: "David O'Brien has signed a new contract. I know people were saying he was going to Livingston and they made him an offer, but David came in and signed with us.

    "He knows what he is going to get from myself and Mark McNally, and Mark McLaughlin has also signed on for next season which is great news as far as we are concerned.

    "He is a leader, he is a Port Glasgow boy and he banged in eight goals for Hamilton this year. With Stuart McCaffrey leaving, big Mark is a great signing.

    "Wee Archie Campbell and Peter MacDonald have been offered deals, along with Andy Graham, Derek Young and Peter Weatherson.

    "I've also got to thank all the players that gave us their effort this year - myself and Mark are both disappointed that it didn't work out with all of them, as we did believe they would do a great job for us.

    "For one reason or another we didn't do as well as we'd hoped, but I'm not going to sit here and slaughter the players. There were many circumstances such as injuries that hurt us this season.

    "But the grim reality is that we finished eighth. Myself and Mark are not blameless in that, but we had to make drastic decisions and freshen things up a bit."

    McLaughlin and O'Brien join midfielder Michael Tidser and veteran goalkeeper Alan Combe, with both players already signed up for the coming campaign.

    But Moore concedes he must be patient as he waits to hear if his squad will be bolstered further - with Graham and Young both needing time to mull over their offers.

    He added: "With Andy and Derek it is complicated. We're negotiating with them but there are outside circumstances which they are having to consider, and we understand that.

    "Big Andy has been offered a full-time job outside of football which is interesting him at the moment, while Derek still has a house in Aberdeen and the travelling is a factor.

    "Those two are still ongoing, they are not dead in the water. We hope they agree to sign but we will wait and see."

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