Our current youth academy was created in 2011 to meet the current SFA criteria and more importantly establish a development platform for Inverclyde.

This programme was developed by two ex-Morton players – Warren Hawke (chief executive) and Derek Anderson (director of youth) – as a long-term project to develop the most effective pathway to the first team.

We have already seen a number of local players making their first-team debut and we expect this to continue for many years as part of our long-term strategy for the football club.

Derek Anderson is well placed to lead on identifying the requirements for developing young talent striving for a life in the professional football game having played at a high level for ourselves and the likes of Hibs and Kilmarnock.

Linking this to his personal thirst for development, he has also achieved his UEFA Pro Licence, UEFA ‘A’ Licence, Youth Licence, and Children’s Licence.

Derek is supported on the business side by Warren (BA Business Management) who ensures that the academy has a fully functional development plan, dealing with all financial and compliance aspects.

The key focus of the youth academy team (coaches, scouts, physiotherapists and other support staff) is to develop and provide an elite programme through creating opportunities for players and staff.

We do this by investing in the best local staff and coaches, ensuring we support their development as well as that of the players.

The club’s vision for our youth programme is to create ‘a youth academy Inverclyde can be proud of’ and we believe we are well on our way to achieving this.