Greenock Morton have a successful Youth Academy system which was was reformed in 2011 to meet the current SFA criteria and more importantly establish a development platform for Inverclyde, one of the hotbeds of talent in Scottish football.
This programme was developed by two ex Morton players – Warren Hawke (Director) and Derek Anderson (Head of Youth Academy) – as a long term project to develop the most effective pathway to the first team.
At this early stage of development we have already seen a number of local players making their first team debut and working with Andy Millen (Head of Development Squad) and we expect this to continue for many years.
Derek Anderson is well placed to lead on identifying the requirements for developing young talent striving for a life in the professional football game, having personally played at a high level for Morton, Hibs and Kilmarnock. Linking this to his personal thirst for development he has also achieved his UEFA ‘A’ Licence, Youth Licence, Children’s Licence and is currently siting his UEFA Pro Licence. Derek is supported on the business side of the Academy by Warren Hawke (BA Business Management) who ensures that the Academy has a fully functional long term development plan, dealing with all financial aspects and compliance to the relevant bodies.
The key focus of the Youth Academy team (26 members of staff – coaches, scouts, physiotherapists and other support staff) is to develop opportunities for players and staff to deliver an elite programme, investing in the best local staff and coaches, ensuring we support their development as well as that of the players.
The club’s vision for the Youth Academy is simple “To create an Academy Inverclyde will be proud of” and we are well on our way to achieving this.