MORTON manager Jim Duffy is running the rule over a French trialist as he seeks to boost his attacking options ahead of the new season, the Tele can reveal.

The unnamed striker scored twice as Morton’s development squad ran out 3-1 winners against their St Mirren counterparts in a bounce game on Monday.

Fellow trialist Jon Scullion, who has been offered a contract by the Cappielow club, netted the other goal as David Hopkin’s young side triumphed at Saints’ Ralston training complex.

Ton boss Duffy was remaining tight lipped regarding the Frenchman’s identity, but did reveal he was a 20-year-old frontman. He told the Tele: “It was a bounce game, an under-20 match we organised last week, and it gave us a chance to have a look.

“We had a French trialist playing. He’s young, 20 years of age, played for an hour and scored two goals.

“But that doesn’t make any difference to how we approach it.

“We can’t just rush into things and sign somebody for the sake of it.

“It was an under-20 match contested by two young teams, and, although he’s only 20, it’s not that age group I’m looking at him for — it’s for the first-team.

“So we have to put it in perspective.

“But the boy’s done his bit and scored a couple of goals.

“He’ll train with us and we’ll have a look at him over the course of the rest of the week and then we’ll see.” On the status of Scullion, he added: “Jon’s slightly different in that he’ll work with David Hopkin in the development squad.

“He has just turned 19 and is someone we’ll look to develop. He’s technically very good but has a few things to work on.

“We’ve offered him a short-term deal until January, one that’s similar to one or two of the other young lads. He was maybe going to sign the contract on Monday but it didn’t happen, with the bounce game. I think that might be completed tomorrow.” When asked how much room he had left in his budget for signings, Duffy insisted it was not about quantity but finding quality players for the correct positions.

He explained: “It’s not to do with numbers; it’s to do with areas. The problem you’ve got is that the players you’re looking for are few and far between and everybody’s looking for the same types.

“When I speak to other managers and coaches and enquire about a player, they’re the ones they’re not going to let go. That’s the area they’re looking to strengthen, even if they have players there.

“If you enquire and do get to talk to the player, invariably he has two or three other options because everyone is looking for the same type.

“They’re looking for players who’ll be dynamic, who’ll have a bit of pace or a goal threat, something that helps you at the top end of the pitch.

“Those are the players who are getting harder and harder to find, because it used to be you had two strikers [in your squad]. Now teams want four strikers and won’t let anyone else go just in case.

“After that you’re looking at really young players. And you have to decide, are they any better than our own youngsters?

“I’ve no problem if it’s a young player from another side who’s talented with a real future ahead of him, but you have to get a balance between having too many young players.

“But it’s not really to do with the age factor; it’s to do with game knowledge. Ideally you want one or two players with game knowledge so you don’t have to constantly coach them.

“You need tradesmen to help guide your less experienced players. Andy Barrowman is the only one we’ve signed who’s been over the course.

“Everyone else has either played at a lower level or is young, so that aspect of it is going to be a curious one. We’ll not know how they’ll deal with it until such time as it happens. In an ideal situation we’d like one or two more with a bit of game knowledge, but those players are also difficult to find.

“They’re either too expensive or the clubs that have them are not interested in letting them go, certainly at the beginning of the season.”