JIM McAlister says it will be a proud moment to lead Morton out this weekend for his 300th appearance for the club against East Fife.

If the club captain plays against the Fifers on Saturday in their Scottish Cup tie he will reach the landmark figure in a blue and white jersey.

The 33-year-old made his first appearance for the Ton back in December 2002 against Peterhead in the old Division Three.

He was just 17 at the time, but he went on to make 272 appearances for Morton in his first spell at the club, before leaving for Hamilton Accies in 2010.

McAlister had stints at Dundee and Blackpool afterwards, before returning to Cappielow last summer.

He was appointed club captain at the start of the campaign by then-manager Ray McKinnon, with Jonatan Johansson opting to keep the midfielder as his skipper when he took over.

It’s a figure he hadn’t dreamed of making when he started out life as a professional footballer, but if he plays on Saturday McAlister admits it’ll be a moment to remember.

He revealed he will already be looking forward to the next landmark shortly afterwards.

He told the Tele: “I set myself wee goals and targets in my head.

“Even when I started out playing it was getting to 50 and then 100 and before you know it you start racking up the appearances.

“I was fortunate with my first spell at the club. “I played pretty regularly and was involved in the first team early on.

“To come back and reach 300 appearances is something I’m very proud of.

“I was a late developer into football when I signed for Morton. I didn’t go through the academy, I was straight out of school and involved in the first team the day after I signed.

“That all happened pretty quickly, but did I think I would make this when I started out? No, probably not. But it’s something I take great pride in, that’s for sure.

“Obviously age is a factor but I feel fit and for as long as the club needs me to represent them I would be more than happy to do so, and if that gets me to 350 or 400 we’ll see.

“The older you get the more realistic you have to be about the targets you set, so probably the next one will be to get to 350 and we’ll see from there.”

There have been a lot of highs and lows for the Rothesay native, and he’s keen to keep going for as long as he can with Morton.

A standout moment for the skipper was when the club sealed their return back into the old First Division in 2006-07, topping the table eight points clear of Stirling Albion.

But in terms of games that stand out for McAlister, the old clashes against St Mirren are clear favourites.

He added: “The season we finally got back to the Championship was a special season, back in 2007. I played almost every minute of every game that season, so in terms of personal achievements it’s probably that.

“In terms of individual games, I know they were semi-competitive games but the old Renfrewshire Cup finals against St Mirren.

“I was fortunate enough as a young kid we managed to beat them when they were in leagues above.

“But any time you play for Morton and you get a win goes down as a special occasion.”