Perhaps one of Morton’s most improved players over the last year and a half in the eyes of the fans is 22 year old defender Ricki Lamie. Ricki joined the club at the beginning of last season and played a vital role in helping to win the League One title at the first time of asking. His previous clubs include Airdrieonians, Queens Park and East Stirling. Although he initially only signed a short-term contract until January of last season, this was extended and he went on to make 37 appearances.
The biggest disappointment of last season for Ricki was that he saw himself sent off against Stranraer in the penultimate game which meant he missed out on being a part of the Peterhead title-winning game. In the season prior to joining Morton, Lamie had been shipped out on loan to Queens Park and East Stirling and made 20 appearances between these two spells.
Understandably, many Ton fans did question the signing but there is no doubt that he has proved his doubters wrong. This season, Lamie has continued to impress and has made 13 appearances in the heart of the defence so far. Unfortunately for the 22 year old, an injury has ruled him out until at least December which has been a blow for the team and himself. One interesting fact about Ricki is that he was named the fittest player in the SFL in 2013.
On his time at Cappielow so far, Lamie said, “I’m enjoying it very well. We had a good start to the season, perhaps a wee bit unexpected for some of our critics. “I think after the first couple of games it gave us a wee gauge and I think there’s a right good bit of confidence going through the team because we know we can compete.” Asked about how good the title winning campaign, he said, “Last season was brilliant. Obviously there were a few ups and downs, personally I was in and out the team and eventually got a good run of games and managed to contribute towards the success. “It didn’t end brilliantly for myself with the red card but it was brilliant to see the boys finish off the job and join in the celebrations at the end.”
As part of that title winning squad, the defender has been pleased with the way the squad has been kept together. He said, “I think the gaffer has done well to keep the spine of the team together. You look at the squad from last year and I think there’s only maybe three or four bodies of a difference and I think he’s added in key areas. “A good few loan signings in Denny and Alex have been great as well. The main thing was to keep that spine and keep that bond which got us through last year and I think we have only improved.”
On this season so far, Lamie said, “The first couple of games I noticed the change in the tempo and the quality but it brings out the best in you as well. “I’m pleased with how I’ve played but I’m disappointed to be out injured at the moment obviously. So far I think I’ve played well and I’d say the same for the team as a whole. “The injury isn’t bad, I’m just going into get treatment today. That’s been two weeks so hopefully after another three or four I’ll be ready to get back into contention.”
Ricki also found it difficult to pick out one moment as a highlight from this season. He said,”I’m not sure what my highlight is. We’ve had a few big games, the derby under the floodlights was absolutely brilliant it was just a shame we couldn’t get a goal to win it. “Overall the highlight for me is that we’ve been able to cope and we’ve maintained quite a good defensive record. It’s slipped a wee bit but we’re still keeping a lot of clean sheets and looking solid.” On where he thinks the team can finish, Ricki said, “Everybody asks me were we think we can finish, my Uncle actually asked me that last night! Obviously the main goal is to stay in the league and anything higher than that will be a bonus.”
With three wins against Alloa, Dumbarton and Livingston, Morton have giving themselves a good bit of breathing space from the bottom of the table. Lamie said, “When you look at the league just now it’s basically half of the league. If you lose two games you’re struggling but if you win two you’re looking up the way and that’s exactly what we’ve done. “I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position with our last few games especially with the game in hand everybody has on us. As long as we keep winning we can keep looking upwards.”
Going into today’s game, the Morton players know that a win will move them ahead of Queen of the South and Raith Rovers and into the play-offs. Very few people expected the team to be so high up the league at this point and the fans will be delighted if the team can make it four wins in a row. Morton currently sit 9 points clear of second bottom and 14 points clear of bottom and today represents another opportunity to strengthen their position in the Championship.