MORTON’S development squad will swap Parklea for Portugal as they get set to spend pre-season at a centre used by international stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva.

The youngsters will jet out to the prestigious Rio Maior training facility just outside of the capital Lisbon later this month.

The centre is used by the Portuguese national team as well as its youth sides.

Head of development John Sutton insists the facility will be great for the Morton kids and believes the international trip gives the team a chance to bond.

He told the Tele: “It’s good because it’s difficult to do double sessions a lot of the time. You can’t send boys home to sleep in the afternoon for two hours and then to come back and train, but in Portugal we’ll be able to do that. It’s going to be really good to get to know all the boys as well.

“It will be a really young squad we’ll be taking out there and they will get to know each other.”

“It will be tough work but hopefully it’ll be really enjoyable for everyone involved.

“There will be a few schoolboys as well and it will be brilliant for them and I’m looking forward to it.”

Sutton wrapped up his first season as a full-time coach recently after finishing his playing career at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

The Ton second string made the step up to the Reserves League, playing against the likes of Celtic and Rangers throughout the last campaign.

It was a steep learning curve for him and his side, but Sutton says he’s enjoyed the switch to coaching.

He also highlighted several teenagers who stood out for the reserves over the course of the season.

He added: “It’s been fantastic. There have been some ups and downs, there’s been some tough results.

“It’s a funny thing with the reserves games because there have been some games we won with our more experienced players.

“We lost some games with younger players sometimes and a lot of the time with some schoolboys playing.

“The most important thing is about getting the schoolboy players through into the first team.

“We didn’t finish high up but we played some good football, and it’s not a surprise to see Reece [Lyon] do so well and get into the [first] team and Lewis [McGrattan] getting the opportunity.

“I don’t think anyone will see that as a surprise as Reece has done well against some really good opposition and been outstanding.

“You could say that for a lot of the boys, Strappy [Lewis Strapp] when he wasn’t at Annan was fantastic for us, and there were first year boys coming through as well.

“Ben Eardley and Darren Hynes, pictured, will want to kick on too. The future is really bright for them.”