MORTON starlet Alexander Easdale says he's used the coronavirus shutdown to prepare for a push on securing a first team place.

The fledgling striker has been working hard to improve to improve his strength and conditioning in the hope of building on his appearances this season.

He told the Tele watching fellow academy graduate Lewis Strapp being named as the club's young player of the year is a clear sign that opportunities exist if you work hard and impress.

Easdale believes that this past season has been his best so far and if told how he hopes to keep developing to force his way into manager David Hopkin's plans for next term.

He said: “Being around the squad has been really beneficial and hopefully next season I can get a bit appearances, even from the bench.

“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. Becoming a full-time professional has helped and I was hitting a good run of form at the end of the season in the reserves, so it was a shame it all came to such an abrupt halt.

“The manager has said to me to get fitter and stronger and then we will see, so I'm doing my best to fulfill that.

"I've worked hard during lockdown. I’ve been doing a lot of sprint work and strength and conditioning.

“It’s frustrating not to be able to see all your team-mates, but but hopefully football comes back very soon."

The 20-year-old says watching Strapp become Hopkin's first choice left back proves that anyone from the academy can earn their spurs through pure hard work.

He said: “It’s motivating because he has come through the youth pathway the same as myself. It shows any player in the academy that there is a chance to make that step up.

“He’s played very well and deserved his success.

“Lewis has been sent out on a few loans but every time he's come back a better player and worked hard to make an impression on the first team. It shows you should never give up.”

The striker has featured on the bench several times this season and made his Morton debut in the Challenge Cup against Inverness in September.

He added: “It has given me a platform to improve as a player and a lot of confidence and hopefully this season coming I can improve again.

“The manager has been great. He brought me into the first team over the last six months and it has helped me a lot, both mentally and physically.

“Being around the more experienced players and learning from them is great. The strikers are helping me with my movement, how to hold the ball up and put it in the back of the net.

“The manager sets a high standard and so do the experienced players like Bob McHugh and John Sutton.

“They expect a good standard and that’s pushed me on and I just want to keep getting better."