Ton need to be sharp for pre-season
Published: 21 May 2013 11:300 comments
MORTON will kick-off their pre-season schedule with a Cappielow friendly against English League One outfit Sheffield United, the club have confirmed.
Allan Moore's men return to begin pre-season training on Monday 24 June and will face the Blades on 3 July, which is the following Wednesday.
The Bramall Lane side also visited Cappielow in the summer of 2006 when then-manager Neil Warnock brought his team north for a friendly.
Warnock, who has a soft spot for the Ton due to the fact his wife's grandparents are from Dunoon, watched his English Premier League new boys run out 3-1 winners. Experienced striker Neil Shipperley gave the Blades the lead before an unfortunate David McGurn own goal doubled their advantage.
Derek Lilley managed to pull one back for Ton late on but defender Rob Kozluk wrapped up the win for the visitors with a third 10 minutes from time.
On Tuesday 9 July, Morton host another South Yorkshire side in the shape of Rotherham United, managed by Glasgow-born Steve Evans.
Then, on Saturday 13, they welcome familiar foes Viewfield Rovers to Cappielow for the Renfrewshire Cup semi-final.
The Lochwinnoch-based amateur outfit are no strangers to Greenock, having faced Ton at this stage of the competition three times in the last decade, losing 10-1 in 2004, 5-0 in 2007, and 11-0 in 2009.
In the fourth and final home pre-season friendly, Tele columnist Chris Millar returns to his old stomping ground with St Johnstone, for whom he recently penned a new two-year deal, on Tuesday 16 July.
Should Ton safely negotiate their Renfrewshire Cup semi-final, they will meet rivals St Mirren at St Mirren Park, Paisley, on Saturday 20 July.
Thereafter, Moore's men return to competitive action with a Ramsdens Cup tie on Saturday 27 July and a League Cup tie on Saturday 3 August before finally resuming league duty one week later.
Ton boss Moore told the Tele: "We start back on 24 June so it's a bit early that we play Sheffield United, and that will be a major test, to be honest.
"But the boys know they've got to do a wee bit extra over the summer anyway. We've given them a programme for the summer and they should come back in decent condition.
"I think the chairman knows the boy Stevie Evans at Rotherham quite well so that's how we got that one arranged.
"I'm not sure how many boys we'll have in by then so we might need to bring in some trialists and new bodies because we've got a lot of games in a short space of time."
Morton chairman Douglas Rae has confirmed that season ticket holders will gain admission to both the St Johnstone friendly and the Renfrewshire Cup semi-final free of charge.