Hamilton midfielder Darian MacKinnon is thrilled Alex Neil has signed a new contract – but reckons it will not be long before the player/manager is lured away from New Douglas Park.
Midfielder Neil, who masterminded last season’s successful promotion to the Premiership with a play-off win over Hibs, celebrated his 33rd birthday yesterday by agreeing a rolling one-year deal with Accies.
The top-flight newcomers also agreed a 12-month contract with Falkirk goalkeeper Michael McGovern, with shot-stopper Kevin Cuthbert, who saved two penalties in the shoot-out victory against Hibs, moving in the opposite direction.
Clyde midfielder Kieran MacDonald has also joined on a one-year deal.
MacKinnon is relieved Neil will be in the dugout next season but believes he is destined to move on to bigger things.
MacKinnon said: “It’s great that he has signed a new deal, you’re always a bit worried. It’s great news though because he has been a huge part of our success. He will go places, he is a very good manager and in the next few years I can see him moving on from Hamilton.
“All the players would do anything for him, he works you hard but at the same time he can also put an arm around you. He is honest and that’s all you ask for in a manager.
“As a player as well, he’s been about. He is a right good player and I would go as far to say he is probably one of the best in the Premiership.”
Hamilton also re-signed Dougie Imrie over the weekend two years after the midfielder left the club and MacKinnon is encouraged by their early summer transfer activity.
He added: “The manager has made a good couple of signings so far. With Kevin Cuthbert leaving he has brought in Michael McGovern from Falkirk and that is just like for like. Dougie Imrie is another that has top-flight experience. The manager is bringing in players to improve us.”