Hamilton Academical: Danny Redmond out to prove a point

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Danny Redmond joined Hamilton on a two-year deal
Danny Redmond joined Hamilton on a two-year deal

"If you're good enough, you're big enough."

That's the tidy, little motto of Hamilton Accies' tidy, little midfielder Danny Redmond.

He's a Liverpudlian who's finally being allowed to thrive on first-team football, but it's not come easy.

After working his way through Everton's academy system, the Toffees decided the Englishman was too small and released him in 2009.

Redmond was 18 years old at the time.

"They said my size was a problem," Redmond told BBC Scotland.

"I don't really believe in that kind of thing. So hopefully I can go on and prove them wrong."

This Liverpool-daft lad might just have wound up at the club who will help him do that.

In fact, Accies might even share Redmond's motto.

The South Lanarkshire side had barely set foot in the Scottish Premiership this season before pundits were earmarking them as relegation fodder.

Danny Redmond tangles with Wolves' Kevin McDonald during a spell at Carlisle United
Danny Redmond tangles with Wolves' Kevin McDonald during a loan spell at Carlisle United

Play the 'attendances' card and Accies might struggle to maintain their poker face - 1,600 has been the average gate at New Douglas Park after their first two home league games.

But, on the park, Alex Neil's men have more than made up for any disappointing patches of unoccupied red seats in the stands.

In six competitive matches so far this season, Hamilton have won five of them. They have taken nine points from a possible 12 in the Premiership.

"The lads have been different class," mused Redmond, who counts playing against Manchester City's Yaya Toure as an experience he'll never forget.

"We've shown how good we can be as a unit and we can play good football, so hopefully we can carry that on and get more points on the board."

It's not the first time Redmond's remit has been to propel Accies up the league.

Following his release from Everton in 2009, he joined the youth set-up at Wigan Athletic and made his debut under manager Roberto Martinez in an FA Cup win against Hull City in 2011.

Funnily enough, that January day Redmond came on as a substitute for an old Hamilton favourite - James McArthur.

Almost one year to the day later, he signed for a second-tier Accies team on a six-month loan deal.

"I spoke to James about coming up last time I was here," said Redmond.

"He was telling me how much of a great club it was for young lads to come and express themselves."

Settling in nicely
"My girlfriend and I have had some nice people welcoming us in Glasgow. Even going shopping, there's been people saying if we need anything just to let them know. It's kind of like Liverpool, to be honest, the people help you settle in" - Danny Redmond

It was those words of McArthur that made the 23-year-old return up the M74 and sign a two-year contract at New Douglas Park.

"With James's experience, I took that on board and made my way back up," he added.

"James has gone on to do a lot of things; he's won the FA Cup, he's played in the Premier League and things like that, so hopefully I can follow in his footsteps. That's my aim.

"The thought of playing football every week was a big influence, and I wasn't getting that at Wigan.

"At my age, Hamilton's the opportunity for me to be playing football and putting myself about."

And no-one will be more proud to see Redmond doing just that than his father, Steve, who racked up over 250 appearances as a centre-back for Manchester City.

"I speak to my Dad often because he's quite experienced himself," said Redmond junior.

"He helps me along with my decisions and he thought it was good for me to come up and play some first-team football."

Opting for regular action may well be a small step in making Everton's loss Hamilton's huge gain.

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