Striker Ben Armour has today completed a temporary switch that sees him join Ladbrokes League Two outfit Annan Athletic on a development loan until the end of the season.
Ben signed with Morton in September 2016 initially as a development squad player, but made his first-team bow as a substitute away at Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday 29 April 2017.
After four competitive substitute appearances for the senior side, he signed a contract extension last November, tying him to the club until the summer.
The 19-year-old has now made nine first-team sub outings in total, including playing the final 13 minutes of last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Brechin City.
However, Jim Duffy believes he will be best served by gaining sustained senior experience with the Galabankies and revealed boss Peter Murphy sought out Armour’s services after watching him in Ton Under-20s matches.
The Cappielow gaffer told gmfc.net: “I think it’s the best way for the young players to progress. The Under-20s level isn’t the best test for them in terms of competitive action.
“Most of the time they’re playing against boys of the same age, and I think they need to go and test themselves against older players, more aggressive players in games that matter with the responsibility of winning points.
“The best way to do that is to go and play regular, first-team football. It can be senior football or it can be junior football – it’s what I call responsibility football. You’re accountable if you miss a chance or make a mistake.
“That’s what players have to learn because that’s what will happen when they come into the first-team. Ben has been in and around the first-team all season and done well.
“He’s got a lot of potential, and I believe if he goes down to Annan, does well there and learns the game then he’ll come back a much better player for us.
“Could his impact at Annan help with my decision when his contract expires in the summer? Yes, of course. But, listen, it’s not all down to whether it goes perfectly for him.
“Sometimes you can go to an environment and you don’t quite fit in or the system doesn’t suit you. There are a lot of things that can impact on how you do.
“What we’ll do is monitor his situation and speak to Peter Murphy, the manager there, and Kevin Rutkiewicz – a former Morton player who is down there as well.
“We’ll use those contacts and definitely make sure that we see enough of Ben to see how he’s progressing and to see if he’s improving upon certain aspects of his game, and if he can do that, he can have a longer term future here.”
Image: Gary Bradley