NEW captain Callum Morris says he’s honoured to be handed the Pars armband and hopes a legendary skipper of yesteryear can help inspire him to success.

After the summer departures of Callum Fordyce and Andy Geggan, manager Allan Johnston turned to the popular 27-year-old centre back, who returned to the club for a second spell in January, to lead his team for the new campaign.

Since rejoining on a free from Aberdeen, Morris was a virtual ever-present, only missing the final two games of last season through injury, after striking up an effective partnership with Lee Ashcroft.

Speaking to Press Sport, Morris revealed his delight at being handed the role and, as Athletic prepare to celebrate 50 years since the famous Scottish Cup triumph of 1968, he hopes he can emulate Roy Barry in going down in history as a winning Pars skipper.

“I’ve known about it for a while now and, as soon as I was offered the chance, I grabbed it with both hands,” he said.

“It’s an honour at any club but especially one as big as this, with the squad we have and what we want to do this season. It never crossed my mind; I was just looking forward to making sure I came back in the best shape that I could but, after the manager and chairman spoke to me about it, I was happy to take on the job. I’m biased but I think I’ll do a good job!

“I’ve known Roy since I came into the club in my first spell, and I still speak with him. It’s nice knowing his role in the final and it’s up to me to carry it forward.

“I hope to do everyone proud and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Barry remains revered by supporters for leading Athletic up the steps at Hampden to collect the famous trophy and, while the Scottish Cup may be outwith their reach this season, Morris would love nothing more than to skipper the club back to the top flight.

The Pars haven’t competed at Scottish football’s top table since relegation in 2012 and the Northern Ireland squad man, who says he’s only ever worn the armband at youth level with hometown club Newcastle and for the Republic of Ireland, continued: “There’s no better place to do it (be captain). I know the club so well, its ethos and what it’s trying to achieve, which I have wholeheartedly bought into so I hope I can do it justice.

“But what we want is to have 11 leaders on the pitch, and I think we’ve got that. I’m the lucky one who has been given the title, which is brilliant for myself and a nice opportunity after the way my career has gone over the last couple of years.

“There would be no better feeling than to lift the trophy or achieve promotion through the play-offs at the end of the season. We’ve got to take it game by game but I wouldn’t have signed if I didn’t think that the club were capable of promotion.

“Everyone is trying their best to get there and the gaffer is working hard to bring in a few new bodies, which I think we need to be fair over the course of the season. We’ve made a few acquisitions that have strengthened the team, which will stand us in good stead. I’m sure if the right characters are brought in between now and the start of the season, we go about things professionally and turn more draws into wins, then there’s no reason why we can’t be up there.”

He added: “Some of the boys have probably never been in a situation where there’s a realistic chance of promotion but you can tell that everyone has found that belief over the summer. It will help bring the best out of people and all we can do is do our job.

“Since the gaffer told the boys (about the captaincy) everyone has picked their game up. I can already see a positive change in everyone; not just in training, but in their professionalism off the field.

“It can’t just be that you do it at 3pm on a Saturday or in training; how you conduct yourself 24/7 is important so that you will be in the best possible shape.

“I’ve enjoyed being back and we’re looking forward to the first friendly now.”