MORTON skipper Jim McAlister has decided to put all thoughts of a testimonial on the back burner as he puts the Cappielow club first.

The midfielder says he feels immense pride at making it a decade of service after penning a one-year contract extension this week.

The veteran midfielder first made his Ton debut back in December 2002 and has gone on to make over 300 appearances over two spells either side of stints at Hamilton, Dundee and Blackpool.

McAlister told the Tele: “I’m proud that I’ve now reached 10 years at Morton and turned out for my local team over such a long period of time.

“You don’t really see that kind of loyalty anymore in football anymore."

While McAlister would now be due a benefit game in recognition of his service, he insists it is not a priority.

He told the Tele: “Any testimonials are up to the club if I’m being honest.

"The manager has mentioned it to me when we’ve spoken but it’s out of his hands.

“It’s something that he’s said that he’d like to see happen but ultimately it’s down to the board and it’s their call.

"But that comes further down the line, it’s not important right now.

“The most important thing is to get a good squad of boys together and get ready for the start of the season in October."

McAlister reflected on his long service at Cappielow and says he has enjoyed the rollercoaster ride.

He said: "I’ve had some fantastic times over the years.

“I’ve played a lot of games, experienced a lot of highs and some lows but that’s just part and parcel of what comes with playing for Morton.

"You never know what’s around the corner.

“I always said after I left the first time around that I wanted to come back and play for the club again and thankfully I was given that opportunity to follow up on that.

“Three years down the line in the second spell, the manager still sees something in me to offer me a contract to keep this journey going and to stay on for that third year.

“I’m very, very proud that I’ve been able to represent the club for this long, and now being the captain on top of that.

“Another thing is that both myself and Midgey [Chris Millar] both started here and now we're both coming to the end of our careers here.

"We're both good friends on and off the park so it’s nice that were both in it together reaching such milestones at the same time.”

The 33-year-old paid homage to boss David Hopkin for keeping the majority of last season’s squad together despite intense pressure on the budget.

Hopkin has managed to retain 16 of last season's squad as he looks to build on a seventh-place finish.

McAlister added: “I think that it says a lot for the manager that so many of the boys wanted to extend their contracts.

“Everyone knows that the budget has been hammered again, so contract offers might not have been as good as they have been in recent years.

“The club hasn’t had that in recent years - you see it most seasons at Morton where there has been a turnover of around 10-plus players, so it’s good that there’s now that nucleus of a squad there.

“Hopefully over the coming weeks he can continue to build around that."