Greenock Morton: Warren Hawke has endurance required for chief executive role

Warren Hawke scored 53 goals in 247 appearances for Morton
Warren Hawke scored 53 goals in 247 appearances for Morton

A two-and-a-half mile swim, followed by a 112-mile cycle and topped off with a marathon.

Greenock Morton's Warren Hawke competes in Iron Man endurance events in his spare time.

Yet, he reckons being the club's new chief executive will be more of a challenge.

"With the Iron Man, it's me against me and not many people know whether I could have gone a bit quicker," Hawke told BBC Scotland.

"At a football club it's open, everybody is going to see what is going on.

"Being a footballer gives you thick skin, and then getting the mental toughness as well with the endurance events. There's a link there that I hadn't really thought about."

Hawke scored 53 goals in 247 appearances for the Cappielow club as a striker and was eager to maintain a physical edge when he retired in 2005.

Warren Hawke playing for Morton against Falkirk in 1996
Warren Hawke playing for Morton against Falkirk in 1996

"At the end of a football career, all of a sudden you've got a big void there; a physical void," explained the 46-year-old.

"The endurance events are my escape; it's my stress relief. People ask why I don't just read a book or go for a pint but I just find it's my best way of relaxing.

"I enjoy challenging myself so I'm sure there will be another crazy caper on the agenda moving forward."

Durham-born Hawke grew up a Sunderland fan and admits to having to check on a map where Greenock was when Morton showed interest him in 1995, but since then his life has been laced with what goes on in and around the Inverclyde club.

"When you get up here and play for the club it gets under your skin," he said.

"It's great to have the affection with the supporters from my playing days and to come back and work with the youth academy and the community trust.

"Then to be given this big job is a great honour and I've got to thank the board and chairman Douglas Rae who has been fantastic for me. Hopefully I can repay that in this new role."

Under the guidance of manager Jim Duffy - another former Ton player - Morton are flying high in third in the Championship.

Morton manager Jim Duffy (left) and chairman Douglas Rae.
Morton manager Jim Duffy (left) and chairman Douglas Rae.

Hawke believes the Cappielow men are more than capable of a surprise promotion to the Premiership but, in terms of the club's infrastructure, does he believe they are a top flight team in waiting?

"I'll be honest - not at the minute," said Hawke, who classes Derek Lilley and Alex Williams as the best strike-force he saw at the club during his playing days.

"We have the potential to be a Scottish top-tier club, but we have things we need to do behind the scenes.

"Over the past few years we've done some very good foundations and they are ultimately going to build up the way to give us that position where we are that established top tier club.

"We've got the aspiration for where this football club needs to be in five years' time. That's not just about the first team, it's about our commercial department, our stadium, our community programme and our youth academy - it's across all areas.

"It's not going to be crunch decisions without negotiation or without speaking to people. The biggest thing I can say to supporters is that I want the football club to be there - that's my number one priority.

"We need to be in a position where we are financially sustainable year on year."

Given his athletic antics, no doubt sustenance is something Hawke specialises in.

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