Eardley honoured to sign for seventh season

Proud development squad midfielder Ben Eardley says he was honoured to be offered a one-year contract extension and sign up for a seventh season with his hometown team.

Eardley penned a new deal last week to put the icing on a campaign that saw him spend time on loan at Greenock Juniors, win Development League West with the Ton Under-20s, and make his senior debut.

And the 18-year-old told media and communications officer Jonathan Mitchell that he was thrilled to be staying at the club where he has played his football since he was 12.

He beamed: “I’ve signed a year’s deal and I felt quite honoured, to be honest. I’m a local boy – Cappielow is only 10 minutes down the hill from me – and that makes it even better.

“I signed with Morton when I was 12, so that will be six going on seven years here now. I was part of the first batch of players to sign after the academy was started and I’ve come right through.

“I’ve experienced so much – it was amazing to win the 20s league this season – and become a much better player, especially the last couple of years. Now, I need to work on my physicality to get in the first-team.

“That was something that I think I did improve during my time on loan at Greenock. I learned about needing to win matches and competing physically. It was a good six months.

“There will be a new manager coming in at Morton now, and John Sutton as well, and I’ll have to try and impress them, so the way I look at it there’s a fresh start for everybody.

“I met John last week and it went well. He spoke about what he wants us to work on while we’re away, what we’ll be doing during the close season, and how he sees us progressing next year. I’m looking forward to it.”

Eardley made his first-team bow as a late substitute against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and he revealed his inclusion was so out of the blue that his name and number was only printed on the shirt on matchday.

The former St Andrews Boys Club star said: “I was surprised to be involved. Actually, I don’t think I was in the squad until Saturday morning. I got a phonecall from Andy Bryan telling me to get my boots and come down.

“I was sitting on the bench and then I got told to warm up with about 12 minutes to go and then went on. I know we lost 3-0 to Inverness, but it meant a lot to me to make my Morton debut after coming right through here.”


Image: Gary Bradley

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