Andy McNeil: Morton keeper swapping Cappielow for China

Goalkeeper Andy McNeil
Andy McNeil is relishing a new challenge coaching in China

Morton goalkeeper Andy McNeil is leaving the Scottish Championship club to take up a coaching role in China.

McNeil said the opportunity to join Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F was too good to turn down.

"Basically, I had the opportunity to go and work as the reserve goalkeeping coach for a team in China," the 29-year-old told Morton's website.

"It's not going to be easy but I'm really excited to go there and get started."

McNeil, who has played for Hibernian, Livingston and Alloa during his career will join the side managed by former Yugoslavia star Dragan Stojkovic.

The goalkeeper, contracted to Morton until the end of the season, discussed the potential switch with manager Jim Duffy before agreeing to the move.

Who are Guangzhou R&F?
Play in Chinese Super League, finishing sixth last season
Yuexiushan Stadium in Guangzhou holds 15,000
First-team squad includes China, Sweden, South Korea, Australia and Israel internationals

"I spoke to the manager about it and he obviously wanted me to stay at the club, but he also recognised it was a unique and pretty good opportunity," McNeil explained.

"He was very, very good about it and he just said I should do whatever I wanted to do. If I wanted to stay, he would be delighted to keep me at the club because I had played quite a few games in the first half of the season.

"But he also completely understood and said that if I wanted to go and take on this opportunity, he was more than happy to support that as well, which was great."

The goalkeeper, whose last appearance for Morton came in the victory against Queen of the South on Christmas Eve, said the move "came out of the blue".

"I do some goalkeeping coaching for Edusport Academy, run by Chris Ewing, and a representative from Guangzhou R&F got in touch with Chris looking for someone to work with their goalkeepers," McNeil added.

"He phoned me and said I should have a listen."

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