HAMILTON are enjoying life in the Scottish Premier League – and so is former Town striker Lucas Akins, above.
The 19-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Accies after being released by Town at the end of last season.
He’s appeared as a substitute in both their games so far, a 3-1 home win over Dundee United and 1-0 success at Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday.
Those results have put Hamilton, pre-season victors over Town at Hartlepool’s centenary tournament, top of the table North of the border.
Few fans ever thought they’d see the day when Accies were ahead of both Rangers and Celtic in the standings.
And while those positions are unlikely to stay the same, both boss Billy Reid and Akins believe Hamilton can consolidate their top-flight status after last season’s First Division title triumph.
“The club’s been promoted and they’re on the up,” said Akins.
“Billy has a good reputation as a manager, and I’m looking forward to learning from him.
“Hamilton have some good players in Richard Offiong, James Grady and Derek Lyle, so there is a lot of competition for me.
“I know I’ll have to work hard, but the club have the reputation of giving youngsters their chance, and hopefully the manager will think I have something different to offer.”
Akins, who played six times for Town and had a spell on loan at non-league Northwich Victoria last season, cites the Old Firm clashes as the biggest of the campaign, pointing out: “Playing in front of full houses at Ibrox and Celtic Park must be amazing and hopefully I’ll be involved.
“But we also have big derbies against Motherwell to look forward to, and being in the Premier League means every game is high-profile.
“If we can get our ground packed and get the supporters behind us, I’m sure we can have a good season.”
Manager Reid said: “Lucas showed up as the right kind of character for me, and he’s signed up for two years, which gives us time to work with him.
“He’s still got a way to go, but he has potential, and that’s what we’re about – giving players a chance. Lucas will get his chance and it’s up to him how far he goes.”
With Scotland taking on Northern Ireland in a Hampden friendly tonight, the Premier League has a break until Saturday, when Hamilton head for Kilmarnock.