MORTON'S youth chief has revealed plans are in place to bounce back from the coronavirus shutdown and a funding bodyblow earlier this year.

Derek Anderson says that the Academy has been making moves during the Covid-19 lockdown to make sure that they hit the ground running when government guidelines allow them to do so.

The club announced earlier this year that its Academy had missed out on vital funding from the SFA's Project Brave initiative, due to the standard of the council-owned pitches being used by the club's colts.

Anderson today explained how the youth set-up will overcome that problem.

He told the Tele: “We’ve been in contact with the likes of Malky Mackay at the SFA and we’ve been planning ahead as to how we can return as soon as possible.

“We lost out on just over £40,000 from Project Brave.

"We hadn’t actually received the full funds from it the first time around, so it could’ve been a lot more if we had.

“It’s known that the Inverclyde Council pitches we use weren’t in the criteria that was needed to secure the funding.

"So we have been in discussions to make a return to playing and training on grass pitches so that we can fall back into that criteria.

“We’d started these discussions before the lockdown, so hopefully once we’re allowed to start planning ahead it can be a smooth process and we can just hit the ground running when the government’s route map allows us to do so."

Anderson says the Academy has stayed in close contact with the potential stars of tomorrow, setting them various challenges to do at home to keep their sharpness.

He said: “We’ve been in contact with the kids over the lockdown to keep them informed.

“We’ve had online training sessions to keep the kids engaged, in the hope that they can be raring to go now that lockdown restrictions are starting to be eased.

“Just the other night we had a session with the younger kids who were joined by first team players Reece Lyon, Lewis Strapp and Alexander Easdale, which they really enjoyed.

“We’ve stayed in contact with them pretty much on a daily basis to keep them ticking over.

“There’s been regular contact and whilst there might have been a few calls regarding when the restart is happening, obviously it’s not us or even the SFA who are in charge of that, it’s the Scottish Government.

"We're all waiting on the same announcement."