Development squad skipper Ruaridh Langan says it was a big deal to make his Morton first-team debut after climbing up through the ranks at Cappielow.
The 19-year-old midfielder, a Greenock-born former St Stephen’s High School pupil, made his senior bow in Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Edinburgh City.
Langan replaced Ross Forbes for the last nine minutes of the Betfred Cup tie, and he admitted it was a source of pride to play for the first-team after starting out in the youth academy five years ago.
Speaking exclusively to gmfc.net, he explained: “I joined the club in 2012 as a youth player, so it’s nice I can say I’ve made my debut after coming that far.
“It was a big deal for me, because I always wanted to at least make my debut because I’ve been with the club for so long. It didn’t really sink in until Sunday.
“Hagi [assistant manager Craig McPherson] takes the subs out for our warm-down runs after the game and all the 20s boys were clapping when I came out. We do that for everybody.
“I went on during a pre-season friendly against Partick Thistle last summer. I wasn’t as relaxed as I normally would have been and I felt that when I was playing.
“From the Stenhousemuir game on, I seem to have been more relaxed. The worst bit on Saturday was waiting on Forbesy [Ross Forbes] to come off.
“As soon as I got on everything calmed down. The only thing was I got a wee bit of stick for not shooting when I passed outside to Bob McHugh, but there you go.
“In general, I felt prepared to go on and you know that the gaffer has faith in you if he’s putting you on. He’s not going to throw you on if he’s not got good reason to or belief in you.”
Langan recently scored four goals against Dunoon Amateurs in a memorial match for Asten Jones. The teenager was both honoured to take part in the game and pleased with his haul, particularly his first.
He added: “Asten was a similar age to most of us and Strappy [Lewis Strapp] knew her, so it was close to home. It was a nice touch for the club to do to go over and take part and all the boys were delighted to do that.
“It’s the first time I’d scored four goals for Morton. I have only ever scored one other hat-trick for the club, in my first game at Under-17s, so you definitely don’t expect to score four playing in defence.
“Obviously it’s easier to do that in a match when it’s for a good cause and not worth points or where the result matters, but as the gaffer said, it’s not often you score a hat-trick at any level.
“With the first goal, the ball came back off the post, I saw the first two Dunoon players and had that planned out, to fake shot and go back in the way.
“I did that and saw another defender and the keeper and thought ‘I don’t know if I’ll score here.’ But Strappy’s brother dived in and I took it round him and was able to tap in. There’s a slim chance I’ll ever score a better one.”
Image (main): David Bell
Image (inset): Gary Bradley