MORTON boss Dougie Imrie yesterday welcomed his players to the first day of pre-season training - and he can’t wait to get ctacking on the 2024/25 league and cup campaigns.

The manager took charge of preparations and the 'testing day' that will shape how the next three weeks will look for each individual player as they get up to speed ahead of the new season.

But according to the Imrie, gone are the days of players needing six weeks to get fully up to speed, between condensed fixture schedules and the raise in overall fitness of athletes in the game

He told the Tele: “I don’t mind it, being on the other side of the coin for the first day of pre-season.

“Although, in this day and age, players are coming back fitter because they get their programs to look after themselves and things like that. The modern day player is always ready to go.

“Back in the day, you used to get eight to ten weeks off and there was no league cup group stages then either, so you’d get a seven-week long pre season too.

“Now you only get something like three weeks, maximum. You need to try and build in a four, five or six week period and condense it into that three week period.

“So we ask a lot of them, the players, in that regard. But in fairness to them, they’ve been excellent in that regard.

“Their fitness and energy levels have always been very good throughout all the stages of the season.”

Imrie reckons his players will have been looking forward to getting out on the pitch for the first time this season as they prepare to be put through their paces by the gaffer and his assistant, Andy Millen.

Imrie hopes that the first day back will help his players get back into the routine of being in and around Cappielow on a daily basis as well as provide the perfect chance for the likes of Jordan Davies, Lamar Reynolds, Owen Moffat and Cammy Ballantyne to begin to get to know their new teammates ahead of the upcoming campaign.

He added: “But I’m sure the players have been looking forward to it too, getting back for their first day.

“Today was just a testing day. Looking at body fats and things like that but it’s good to get the boys back in the groove again.

“It’ll be good to get them used to being back in the building again and integrating with their new teammates ahead of what promises to be another hectic season in the Championship.”