Age is just a number for midfielder Jim McAlister

Experienced midfielder Jim McAlister admits he would like to finish his career at Morton but he feels he has plenty left to give before even giving a thought to retirement.

The 33-year-old returned to the club last summer and broke through the 300 appearance barrier by adding a further 40 Ton outings to the 272 he had managed in his first spell with the club.

McAlister recently put pen to paper on a one-year extension that will bring him up to nine and a half years of service on Sinclair Street and is ready to go and make an impact next term and show that age is just a number.

He told “There were loads of ups and downs with three or four different things that happened – but I enjoyed every second of last season.

“My legs feel absolutely great. I think that missing that period through injury down at Blackpool has helped with that and will maybe extend my career. I started training again a few days ago and I feel as strong as I ever did.

“Age is just a number. Your career could be ended in a training session, so I have always had the mindset of playing every game as if it could be your last anyway.

“As long as those games keep coming, I’ll be delighted to participate in them. Would I like to finish my career with Morton? It’s certainly something that would appeal to me.

“At the end of this contract, I’m going to have been here over nine years over two different spells, and once you get over 30 you don’t want to be that person who has a year here, a year there.

“I’m quite proud that in all the years I’ve been playing, I’ve only played for four clubs – four good clubs – and so, as I say, finishing my career here is certainly something that would appeal to me.”

McAlister is looking forward to working with new manager David Hopkin and revealed he was a team-mate of the former Scotland star for just one Ton training session back in season 2002/03.

He explained: “When I started coming over from Rothesay to train, before I had signed, Hoppy was just finishing up playing.

“I remember being brought here by wee Andy [Bryan] the kitman one Thursday night. I was training with the 18s at Battery Park and was told to come up here to train with the first-team.

“I’m pretty sure he took part in that training session. But I never saw him again after that, so it must have been round about the time he retired.

“Any chats I’ve had with him have been positive. He knows how to be successful in this league, on a tight budget at Livingston, and hopefully he can bring that success here.”


Image: Jonathan Mitchell