After a season of struggle again last term, it has been another big summer for Martin Canning to try and resolve some of Accies’ woes ahead of the current campaign. This is my review on the season ahead and of the squad built so far.
The majority of the squad has remained the same for Hamilton and I think that has it’s benefits and it’s negatives.. The benefits I see is the continuity of the squad overall; after settling into life in the Scottish Premiership, I suspect Giannis Skondras and Georgios Sarris to continue and improve on their reasonable first seasons at New Douglas Park.
The squad is fairly experienced and the defence is very settled; the addition of Ryan Fulton adds quality and competition to the goalkeeping ranks while the addition of Xavier Tomas will only add to that base already in place. The versatility of Massimo Donati is crucial while the development of Shaun Want will add further depth to this area of the squad. Scott McMann is a very good young full-back who I feel will continue to get better, however, I do feel that right and left-back require further reinforcements to cover any injuries and suspensions over the course of the season.
Looking further forward, Gramoz Kurtaj and Alex D’Acol have left – the latter being the most surprising in my opinion after adapting and starting to show why he was brought to the club in the first place. The midfield of Accies is also strong with the continued playmaking skills of Ali Crawford and Dougie Imrie adding guile and nous to the Lanarkshire club’s attacking play. I like Grant Gillespie and Darian MacKinnon as well and I think the continuity throughout the side will help as the new season approaches. With David Templeton regaining fitness and having a reasonably good pre-season, then Hamilton may see a rejuvenated and revitalised players which can only add to the quality already amongst the ranks. Similarly to the full-back position, however, I also feel this is an area lacking in Martin Canning’s squad and feel at least one more winger would compliment and add depth to what is already there, at present.
Up front, Accies have always had a limited amount of strikers but, I must admit, I do not see a lot of quality in this area and feel this is the weakest area of the squad and one which needs immediate attention. Rakish Bingham is not an out-and-out striker, in my opinion, while Eamonn Brophy and especially Steven Boyd are still learning their trade and possibly cannot be called upon massively throughout the whole season. Brophy has been in and around the first-team for the past few seasons and has shown glimpses of what he can do while Boyd had a good spell on loan with Albion before scoring a couple of goals in the BetFred Cup group section, but, the pressure on these guys needs to be taken off by an additional couple of strikers, in my opinion.
Overall, I feel the nucleus of a good squad is there with a lot of good talent continuing to come through. If Accies can bring in a striker or two with quality, I can see no reason why they cannot go and compete with every other team in the middle of the pack. I am not saying Hamilton are favourites for the drop – I wouldn’t say there is a clear favourite, to be honest – but I certainly feel without the addition of another couple of forward players, that Martin Canning’s side may struggle this season to score the goals required to get them to where they want to be.