MORTON have lined up a top youth coach to run their new football academy, the Tele can reveal.

In a major coup, a deal is all but sealed to bring in former Celtic, Rangers, Hibs and SFA youth expert Malky Thomson to run the new set-up.

Ton director Stuart Duncan, who is putting the ambitious new academy in place, today confirmed the ex-Inverness and Dundee United assistant boss was in line for the key post.

Stuart said: "Malky is our preferred candidate. He has a superb track record and a really good CV. We are very keen to have him on board." Mr Thomson's appointment is expected to be made official once the go-ahead is given to establish the Greenock Morton FC Inverclyde Football Academy as a charitable organisation.

It will nurture talent for Ton's first team and carry out a wide range of work in the community.

Stuart said: "Malky is really keen on the community aspect, which is very important to us." Mr Tho-mson, who has helped bring on top prospects in his career and has a wealth of contacts, spoke exclusively to the Tele and said he was excited by the opportunity of running Morton's youth set-up.

He said: "It's all but agreed I will be coming in to run the Academy and I'm looking forward to it.

"Youth football is where I started my career. I was at Celtic at the time, when the likes of David Marshall and Ross Wallace were brought through, before getting involved in first team football at Inverness, Dundee United and Chester." Mr Thomson, recently touted as a candidate to move to Hibernian's highly-respected youth operation, is confident he can unearth stars of the future for Morton.

He said: "I'm delighted they want to put a proper structure together which will deliver players for Morton's first team.

"I've worked at bigger teams and it is achievable. Community work will be our starting point, because it's the club's lifeblood. There are loads of local lads. It's a massive catchment area."