Mark Russell has revealed that he took stock of his career over the summer and came to the realisation that his future lay at Cappielow.
Defender Russell had options elsewhere, with a Scottish Premiership club amongst those expressing an interest, but he elected to put pen to paper on a new contract that would see him return to Morton.
The 21-year-old signed the deal yesterday and explained that, after taking time to consider his future, the fact he both enjoys his football with the Ton and working with manager Jim Duffy meant he wanted to stay.
Speaking exclusively to gmfc.net, he said: “I signed a year’s extension and I’m delighted. I spoke to my family and my agent about things and thoroughly discussed what was best for me in the upcoming season.
“I took my time, looked at my options and realised that I wanted to stay at Morton and that was my overall decision, and my family were happy with that as well.
“I just enjoy playing at Morton and coming in to training at Morton. The manager has a big impact, too, because I get on well with him and I think he trusts me as a player.
“That trust is a big thing, definitely, especially with me coming through the youths and playing games at 18 and obviously now I’m 21 hopefully continuing to play games, enjoy myself and improve as a player.
“I’ve been here since 2012 and it feels a long time but a good time. I came through from 17s then the development squad; from there you have to push yourself and believe in yourself to get into the first-team.
“I feel as if I’ve been given my chance here. I’ve played over 100 games now and for my age that is a good achievement, and hopefully I can go and get more now.
“For any of the other young boys I’d say: believe in yourself, play as well as you can and try and take the chance – because the manager will give you it.”
The Ton returned to training today after their summer break, and youth academy graduate Russell admitted he was desperate to get back despite the relatively short close-season hiatus.
He added: “We’re back into pre-season, back into the action, tomorrow and it’s something I’m looking forward to. I missed it. I enjoyed my holiday but after that I was getting bored in the house and itching to get back at it.
“You miss everything really. You’ve got all the boys and they’re all your pals basically, but you actually miss just playing football as well, everything about it.”
Image: Jonathan Mitchell