MORTON star Jack Iredale has told how he grew up idolising Dundee United’s Scott McDonald — and he’s even got his autograph to prove it.

But the young full-back vowed that any hero worship will go out the window at Tannadice later today if ‘Skippy’ lines up against Jim Duffy’s men.

Iredale was born in Greenock but he moved to Australia before growing up to star for Perth Glory and the national team at under-17s level.

During his time in Oz, Iredale took a keen interest in how Aussie football players fared overseas.

And McDonald, 34, who starred for the likes of Southampton, Celtic, Middlesbrough, Millwall, Motherwell and now United, is one player left-sided ace Iredale takes his inspiration from.
But that won’t stop Iredale from trying to keep the muzzle on him this afternoon.

Iredale: “To be honest, I grew up watching him on TV and I think I got his autograph at one point!

“As a young player, you look at players from Australia going overseas and playing at big clubs.

“And Scott’s played in England, played at Celtic and now he’s at Dundee United as well, so he’s definitely someone you can look to and see that it can be done.

“Hopefully I can carve out a similar career that Scott has managed to do. If I could, I wouldn’t be doing too badly!”

As it turns out it was Iredale’s mum who got McDonald’s signature for him.

Iredale takes up the story: “I didn’t get Scott’s autograph personally, I was back in Australia but my mum was back in Scotland and her and Scott McDonald were on the same flight.

“I think he was up front in the fancy seats and my mum was in the economy seats. But she sent a napkin up with one of the air hostesses and he put his signature on it and she brought it back for me.

“Players of that quality and that pedigree, you always know he’s going to be a dangerous player.

“And he’s got good players around him to help him, so we definitely have to be switched on and try to nullify that on the weekend.”

Iredale, who has recently returned from a loan spell with Queen’s Park, knows the importance of trying to pick up league points over the next few weeks as Ton look to propel themselves back into play-off contention.

He said: “We really have to start stringing together some wins to try to climb that table to reach those play-off spots.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to be at one of the Dundee United games when the boys played them because I was on loan by the time we played them the first time.

“But talking to them in training, they’ve told me that Dundee United are not there in the league table by accident.

“We definitely do need to start bringing in consistency of performances, like we did on Saturday against Dunfermline.”