Hamilton Academical: Martin Canning becomes new manager

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Accies appoint 'Hamilton people'

Martin Canning has been officially appointed Hamilton player-manager, but the decision was made the same night Alex Neil was approached by Norwich.

Former Accies players Chris Swailes and Guillaume Beuzelin will be assistant manager and head coach respectively.

Scottish defender Canning had been made interim player-coach after Neil exited.

And it has now been revealed that the 33-year-old knew he already had the job on a permanent basis despite a number of high-profile applications.

"I had an indication that was the way it was going to go," Canning told BBC Scotland.

"The best way to do it was to do it the way it was done. Now that it's resolved we can go back to concentrating on football.

Hamilton step up thrills Beuzelin

"Going into management was something I always wanted to do. Who knows if it's too soon or the right time or the wrong time - you'll never know until you actually go ahead and do it.

"For me, it was a no-brainer to take it and we'll just see how things go."

Canning, who was club captain, has overseen three consecutive defeats, with Accies losing 5-0 away to Partick Thistle on Wednesday - but it has not deterred the Hamilton board from again appointing from within.

Neil was elevated from his role as captain to player-manager when Billy Reid moved on in April 2013.

Frank McAvoy, who was Neil's assistant at New Douglas Park, had remained behind to assist Canning but will now also head to Carrow Road following Saturday's home game with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Canning, who described it as "a big opportunity", will continue as a player and have some input into training, but that will be the main responsibility of Swailes and Beuzelin.

Englishman Swailes played for Hamilton for two seasons after leaving Oldham Athletic in 2007 during a long playing career that included spells with Boston United, Doncaster Rovers, Ipswich Town, Bury and Rotherham United.

The 44-year-old former defender ended his playing career after joining Northern Football League club Dunston UTS in 2011.

Former Le Havre, Hibernian, Coventry City and Olympiakos Nicosia midfielder Beuzelin will move from Scottish Championship club Dumbarton, where he was appointed assistant manager in July.

The 35-year-old Frenchman, who had a short spell with Accies in 2009, previously had coaching roles with Falkirk, Stirling University and Hibs, as well as a continuing one with South of Scotland League side Edusport Academy.

Hamilton sit fifth in the Scottish Premiership - nine points behind leaders Celtic - following promotion via the play-offs in the summer.

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