Scottish Premiership: Hamilton preview -Transfers | Key player | Stop moaning about Accies | Prediction

Darian MacKinnon will be at the heart of Hamilton's midfield once more. Picture: SNS
Darian MacKinnon will be at the heart of Hamilton's midfield once more. Picture: SNS
Share this article
0
Have your say

Hamilton are set to embark on their sixth successive season in the top tier, Joel Sked writes.

Manager

It has been Brian Rice's first pre-season as a manager having come in for Martin Canning at the end of January with Accies in 10th place.

Last season

Staying in the top tier is deemed a success for Hamilton and fans were constantly reminded of that in patronising fashion as they clambered for Canning's departure with the style of football regressing as well as results. Supporters want to enjoy football and not just simply survive. Rice won more games in his 15-game spell than Canning did in the previous 23 but their position didn't change.

Transfers

IN: Blair Alston (St. Johnstone), Will Collar (Brighton & Hove Albion), Brian Easton (St. Johnstone), Markus Fjortoft (Southern United), Owain Fon Williams (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Kyle Gourlay (Dundee), Johnny Hunt (Stevenage), Ciaran McKenna (Falkirk), David Moyo (St. Albans City), Korede Adedoyin (Everton, loan)

OUT: Ziggy Gordon (Central Coast Mariners), James Keatings (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Gary Woods (Oldham Athletic), Tony Andreu (Coventry City, end of loan), David McMillan (St. Johnstone, end of loan), Dougie Imrie (retired), Tom Taiwo (retired), Matthew Kilgallon, Jacob Marsden, Alex Penny, Lennard Sowah, Delphin Tshiembe

Most interesting recruit

As ever with Hamilton's recruitment it is one of mystery and intrigue. They have brought in some familiar names within Scottish football and complemented it with the unknown. Brian Easton has returned to the club and if he can get anywhere near the form of his first spell or prior to an injury which saw him miss nearly 18 months of football then he will prove a real coup.

Yet, it is hard to look past Korede Adedoyin. The loanee from Everton was attracting a lot of interest this summer according to reports with links to Hearts, Dundee United, ADO Den Haag, Cercle Brugge and Apollon Limassol.

The winger signed his first professional contract with the Premier League side before making the switch. A Nigerian winger, he has been described as a "wonderkid" and was part of the country's U20 World Cup squad. He scored 13 goals in 21 appearances for Everton's U18s last term.

Key player

Accies lacked an inspirational figure in the middle of the pitch last season. Having gone through the likes of Ali Crawford, David Templeton, Greg Docherty and Lewis Ferguson, that talisman was missing.

Step forward Blair Alston.

St Johnstone fans may raise their eyebrows at the term 'inspirational' in connection with Alston but at Hamilton he will be a focal point rather than a peripheral figure as he was at McDiarmid Park when you consider last season there was Matty Kennedy and Drey Wright.

In the Betfred Cup he has played centrally where he is more involved than when stationed wide.

What do they still need?

It appears Accies will be setting up in a 3-5-2 for the new season with opportunities for players who impressed in the Uefa Youth League. In addition to Alston they could do with a bit more creativity centrally.

To be honest, just anyone who can lift the quality in the squad.

The question: What is success for Hamilton?

This probably deserves a much more in-depth article. In brief, looking around the bottom six there are either teams who have lost key players, in a state of flux or just not that good. It creates the opportunity for Accies to push up the league and get away from that '10th place is the aim' mentality.

The club have only finished higher than seventh once in the top tier in their history. That should be the long-term aim.

This season should be about evolution. A team which is much easier for fans to enjoy and a cup run would be welcomed.

Any other business

Stop moaning about Hamilton's plastic pitch or their peculiar stadium. Stop bleating about their home crowds and how they should consider themselves lucky to be in the Premiership. They are here on merit and are set for their sixth consecutive season in the top tier. More than can be said for Dundee United, Dundee, St Mirren, Dunfermline, Falkirk et al.

Prediction

11th

READ MORE: Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen preview -Transfers | Key player | Can they catch Old Firm? | Prediction

READ MORE: Scottish Premiership: Celtic preview - Transfers | Key player | Can they do the quadruple treble? | Prediction

*Transfers courtesy of Narey's Topepoker