Reece Lyon – Twenty-first century boy

Midfielder Reece Lyon’s name was etched in the Morton history books on Saturday by becoming the first player born in the 21st century to feature for the club in a first-team league game at Cappielow.

Lyon, whose date of birth is 13 March 2000, was also the first individual born after the turn of the millennium to represent the senior team in any competition when he came off the bench away to Dumbarton in the Irn-Bru Cup.

After starring for the reserves in a 3-1 win over Celtic in midweek, the Greenock-born 18-year-old replaced an injured Michael Tidser in the 52nd minute of last weekend’s Ladbrokes Championship loss to Ayr United.

Manager Jonatan Johansson told media officer Jonathan Mitchell: “For me, I have watched three reserve games now and I’m getting to know the youth players.

“If someone’s doing really well in the youths or reserves then I will have no hesitation in, first, taking them into training, which I did with Reece after the Celtic game, and, if they do well, putting them on the bench or the pitch.

“That goes for everybody: there has to be a thing where the players who are playing well are in the squad or out there on the pitch no matter what their age, at boths of the spectrum. I believe in a level playing field.

“Reece has been doing very well and was really impressive against Celtic, so I took him in the squad. Obviously there were a couple of injuries.

“It was unfortunate that we lost two midfielders in a short space of time, and it affected us having to reshuffle, but that is often how you get your chance as a young player.

“Reece is a forward-thinking midfielder who links up the play, looks to pass forward, is a strong runner, and can score a goal. He offered something different on the bench, and I think that was important as well.

“I had no hesitation putting him on the pitch. We had injuries to our central midfielders and they had to come off and I felt Reece did fine.

“I became aware of Reece through watching the reserves and speaking with Del and John. I believe in a close working relationship with them and that everbody has to understand there is a pathway for young players.

“If the player is good enough or the player is showing ability then I believe he should be pushed on and it’s about taking your chance and being ready.”


Image: David Bell