Duffy: Turriff trip is prep for league travels

Jim Duffy says he is using Saturday’s mammoth trek to Turriff as a tool to prepare his players for the away days that await them in next season’s Ladbrokes Championship.

With Brechin City and Inverness Caledonian Thistle replacing Ayr United and Hibs in the second tier, Morton will be subjected to lengthier road trips on a more regular basis in the upcoming campaign.

Highland League outfit Turriff United, who the Ton played at The Haughs in a Scottish Cup tie in December 2012, are based in the far north east of the country.

And Duffy took advantage of his friendship with Turra boss Ross Jack to arrange a game that he feels will be beneficial to his team in more ways than a standard pre-season friendly would.

He told gmfc.net: “I’ve known the manager at Turriff for a long time. Ross Jack and I signed for Dundee on the same day and stayed in digs together many, many centuries ago!

“Ross phoned me up and asked if we fancied a game. You can always get a match closer to home, but I just felt it wouldn’t do any harm to get the players used to sitting on a bus for three and a half hours.

“We’re going to have to play games up at Inverness, Brechin, and Dundee for instance and going to have to travel on coaches.

“It’s about getting inside their heads with the mental preparation, about what time you get up at, what time you eat, and the journey. It’s to do with that and also about taking a game on a good pitch.

“So we’ll go up there, get used to that bit of travelling and get another competitive 90 minutes under our belts, because it’s only a week after that that the season starts with the Betfred Cup.”

Jai Quitongo made a very welcome return to action with a substitute outing in a bounce game against Ayr United on Tuesday, and Duffy says he will also play some part against the Aberdeenshire club.

He added: “Jai will be involved again and get a little bit more game time and I’m hopeful that most of the guys will be okay. Obviously Lee [Kilday] and Thomas O’Ware will still be doubtful, as is Ross [Forbes].”


Image: Ross Cameron