THOMAS O’Ware and Sean Crighton will be paired again at Morton next season - after the Cappielow first-team star accepted a position as a coach within the club’s youth academy.

O’Ware and Crighton formed a central defensive duo on a handful of occasions during the Ton’s League One title-winning season, most memorably in the 3-1 win over Peterhead on the final day.

While the long-serving utility man remained at Cappielow, recently penning a two-year extension, local lad Crighton moved onto Airdrie before signing for Livingston last week.

But they will now be reunited on the training field and work together to coach the Ton’s Under-15s along with youth academy colleague Peter Dunn after O’Ware was brought into the fold.

Head of youth Derek Anderson told the Tele: “Thomas O’Ware will be joining the youth academy as a coach and I’m delighted he’s coming on board.

“He’s got a bit of experience coaching Troon Thistle Boys’ Club and we spoke about him working with us last year, but it just wasn’t right for all parties at that time.

“But he kept in touch with me and we’ve managed to get him in this year, and that will be great for the kids to see a first-team player in coaching.

“Thomas will work with the Under-15s and that will be as part of a coaching team alongside Sean Crighton and Peter Dunn.”

Former Southampton defender Derek Allan recently stepped down from his post as Under-17s coach to take a year out due to personal circumstances.

And Anderson confirmed he will be replaced by former Largs Thistle boss Pat McIlvogue, who steps up from the Under-15s and will be assisted by ex-Dumbarton and Stranraer keeper Kenny Meechan.

He added: “Derek will be missed. He played at a good level, came in and his coaching was good, he was good with the kids, and he was a straight hitter: what you saw was what you got with him. He’s actually going to help Mick King and do a bit of scouting from time to time, so he’s keeping his eye in with us.

“But in Pat McIlvogue, Kenny Meechan and Jamie Duncanson, the Under-17s coaches we’ve selected for next season have a wealth of experience.”

The academy staff line-up for season 2016-17 is as follows: Under-11s: Ross Gourdie, Marc McGhee, Ross McLaren. Under-12s: Jim Bain, Craig Anderson, Ryan MacGregor. Under-13s: Brian McLaughlin, David Garrett, Blair Kelly. Under-14s: Callum Robb, Paddy McAlees, Alan Kane. Under-15s: Sean Crighton, Peter Dunn, Thomas O’Ware. Under-17s: Pat McIlvogue, Kenny Meechan, Jamie Duncanson. Goalkeeping coach: Jim McGowan. Physio: Susan Wilson. Scouts: Mick King, Colin Lindsay, Craig Buchanan.