Last updated : 20 May 2010 By Queens MAD

MIDFIELDER Ryan McGuffie has fulfilled a career-long ambition by signing for his hometown Queen of the South from Morton.

The one time Newcastle and Gretna player, whose contract was up at Cappielow, has penned a one-year deal with the Dumfries club to end weeks of speculation over his future.

McGuffie said: "I've been a professional footballer for 11 years and it's now nice to be a Queen of the South player at last."

The 29-year-old stepped up to the big time 10 years ago when Newcastle United plucked him, along with Colin McMenamin, from relative obscurity at Annan Athletic who were playing in the East of Scotland League at the time.

After two years on Tyneside, McGuffie moved back to Scotland and signed for Gretna where he helped the club rise form the third division to the SPL.

He made over 150 appearances for the Borderers - including the 2006 Scottish Cup Final defeat to Hearts where he scored in a 1-1 draw before losing out on penalty kicks.

McGuffie moved to Morton in the January transfer window two years ago as Gretna teetered on the brink of their eventual collapse.

The 6ft 2in midfielder was an almost permanent fixture at Cappielow under Davie Irons and James Grady before becoming Queens' gaffer Kenny Brannigan's first new signing of the summer.

Meanwhile Kevin Finlayson and Steve Masterton have been told they are free to leave managerless Morton. Fellow midfielder Eric Paartalu has left the club to return to Australia with Brisbane Roar.