Walking around, singing a song, walking in an Andrew Winter wonderland. If that’s not a chant already at the Fountain of Youth Stadium, well, it should be.
The youngster has been around the Hamilton first-team for weeks now, waiting patiently for his chance under Brian Rice. Against Edinburgh City in the Scottish Cup, the 17-year-old got it.
Another @AcciesFCAcademy graduate makes his debut at 17-years-old ✅
Scores on his debut ✅
Take a bow @andrewwinter91 👏🏻
📸 Mike Bishop pic.twitter.com/GkbSzOJElV
— Hamilton Accies FC (@acciesfc) January 18, 2020
That opportunity was taken too. Winter cut in from the right to curl a fine effort into the City net, scoring his first senior goal on his first senior Accies appearance. He’s been firing regularly in the Reserve League and now he’s found a Scottish Cup strike too.
Rice is delighted for the young man and says it’s no risk to throw Winter into any senior environments: “It doesn’t matter what age they are – if I think they’re good enough then they’ll play.
“He’s been on the bench the last three or four weeks. I’ve had him training with the first-team for the last six, getting him up to speed, battered about, learning the physical side of it.
“He’s scored goals at every level he’s played. It’s not a gamble for me putting Andy in as he’s got the attributes and the work rate and to score on his debut is a day he’ll never forget.”
Winter left ‘buzzing’
For the teenager himself, he was left smiling from ear to ear. It couldn’t have gone much better for him on his first appearance in Rice’s first-team.
The boy became a man in South Lanarkshire and now Premiership berths will surely be the aim for Accies’ 17-year-old attacker. In front of his family, his dad is former referee Brian Winter, the striker was delighted to get off the mark.
“I had a wee feeling today was going to be the day I got on,” said Winter. “Luckily I got my chance and I took it, I’m buzzing. You’ve got to have belief and you’ve got to go out with the same belief as you have at youth level.
“I need to keep on trying to create chances. The gaffer obviously believes in me and I thank him for that. He just said play with a smile on your face and just show what you can do.
“My dad was in the stand and so was my mum and sister. That’s who I pointed at when I scored. I’m not getting distracted, it’s one game. There’s still four months left in the season so there’s still a lot of room to improve.”