Andy Dales was looking to make an impression on his Hamilton debut- and the Scunthorpe loanee certainly made sure that the home faithful know he’s arrived in South Lanarkshire.
The Irons winger was signed on a six-month loan deal by Brian Rice during the winter break. Fielded from the start against League Two Edinburgh City, Dales scored on his Fountain of Youth swansong.
It was a convincing day’s work for Accies. They ran out 5-0 winners over their League Two opponents and now face Rangers at home in the Scottish Cup’s round of 16.
Dales was left ecstatic with the debut and hopes this is just the beginning of a fruitful stint under Rice.
“I want to put performances in and hopefully score some goals to make sure Hamilton aren’t in the league below next season,” said Dales. “A debut goal gives me confidence for the rest of the season.
“You want to score a goal on your debut. I did it at Scunthorpe and it’s a great feeling to get off to a winning start. Hopefully there’s more of that to come. If I can be more consistent and start doing that week in, week out then I’ll definitely enjoy it up here.
“This season I’ve had a couple of injuries, one on my hamstring and one on my calf, and that’s set me back a little bit. So to get back playing and playing with a smile on my face is massive.
“I was upbeat at Scunthorpe but any player will tell you it’s not easy when you’re not playing regularly.”
Rice left impressed
Hamilton boss Rice has been tracking Dales for some time. He liked the look of him at Dundee last season and has kept an eye on his situation ever since.
He’s had to wait until 2020 but now Rice has his man. Whilst he’s prepared for the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with wingers, he says Dales is one man who can improve his side.
“I tracked Andy at Dundee where he caught my eye every time I watched him,” explained Rice. “He fell out of the picture and went back down to Scunthorpe and I kept my eye on him.
“He’s a typical winger, he’ll have good days, frustrating days and quiet days but when he’s good, he’ll offer us something and excite the fans.
“I was screaming at him to get forward. I want him to try to score goals and create chances, I don’t want to see us make 20 passes in our own half and go nowhere.
“He’s scored and hit the bar on his debut so I’m delighted for him.”