SCOTLAND face the USA in a three-match series in Glasgow over the next week and forward Lee Morton admits he and his teammates are keen to build on their Commonwealth Games performance, which saw the team record its best-ever finish in the event.

At number 23 in the world, the Scots are currently ranked three places above America but Morton is expecting a tough test over the series, which begins tomorrow with match one at the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow before playing the second and third matches on Monday and Wednesday of next week.

And with the Scots having finished in sixth place in Gold Coast, including racking up an impressive victory over 15th-ranked South Africa, Morton is champing at the bit to use this series to continue their progress.

“This is our first outing since the Commonwealth Games so I’m excited about the matches,” the 23-year-old said.

We’ve played America before and it’s been pretty tight so we’re expecting some hard games. I think there’ll be a few young players who get tried out and we’ll be trying a few new things but I think we’ve got enough there that we can expect to win the series.

"I feel like we’re in the best place we’ve ever been as a team and that’s so important and with a really big year coming up, so this is another stepping-stone for us."

The men’s national team receive no financial support,which forces the majority of the players to play hockey around their job or education and so when the Scots are up against teams which are filled with full-time athletes, expecting them to compete is quite an ask. And so the team’s success in Gold Coast was, admits Morton, a satisfying way to prove their doubters wrong.

“It is good to prove people wrong and we do have a bit of an underdog status," he said.

"We perform really well with that mentality and so we just go out there to play our own game and see where it gets us.

"Considering we’ve had next to no funding for a good while, having tat attitude works well for us and it’s a good feeling to perform well with so little."

2018 has been quite a year already for Morton. Having been called up to the GB squad at the tail-end of last year, he was awarded his first GB cap in a match against Germany last month and the Reading player reveals that fulfilling a life-long dream was as thrilling as he expected.

“Getting into the GB set-up was great and I hadn’t been expecting to get my first GB cap last month so that was brilliant," he said.

"Because I’m only a part-time player, I though they’d just take all of the full-time players so it was a really nice surprise. When I got the email, my name was at the very bottom of the list so I thought I wasn’t in. But then I saw my name and I definitely jumped around my room for a few minutes before I phoned my family to let them know. It’s a good first step and getting that cap was one of the best feeling’s I’ve had.”

His involvement in the GB set-up has, he admits, done wonders for his hockey and with an Olympic appearance in his long-term plans, he knows there is no room to take his foot off the gas even for a second. And the by-product of his own personal improvement is that he will, he hopes, be able to use it to help the Scottish national team progress too.

“You can see the improvement so quickly being in GB because it’s just a completely different level - it’s just so intense," he said.

"When you’re there, you don’t have a second to catch your breath but I think that’s a good thing and I think that’s something that will help me coming back into the Scottish set-up to help bring the standard up. We already have a lot of good players in the Scottish squad but if we can get more players in the GB squad, that will help the whole set-up I think.

"I feel like I’ve been brought into the GB set-up with the 2024 Games in mind because I’ve been brought in from the development squad into the full squad.

"So it’s really a case of giving it my all for 2020 because I’d obviously love to be there but I wouldn’t feel like it’s the end of the world if I didn’t make it because I’ll hopefully still have another cycle.

"But if I do well enough to go full-time pre-2020, that’d be amazing.”