Hamilton completed their first signing of the summer this afternoon as they picked up striker Callum Smith on a two-year deal.
The 20-year old was one of 17 players who were released from Dunfermline as the Championship side have felt the bite of Coronavirus.
He managed to score six goals and provide seven assists last season while on-loan at Airdrieonians. This included a goal against his new side back in July, when Accies came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and secured a passage into the next phase of the Betfred Cup.
Smith joined Dunfermline at the age of just 14, while also continuing his development at Fife’s Elite Football Academy. In 2016, he signed a one-year deal with the Pars development squad and went on to seriously impress that season, becoming the clubs top goal scorer in the SPFL Development League.
His hard work resulted in him being promoted to the first team for the 2017-18 season and once again he impressed and was once tipped for the top. He played all four of Dunfermline’s Betfred Cup games that season and played an excellent part in a goal to put The Pars 2-1 ahead at Tynecastle.
When the league season started, again 17-year old Smith was involved and was attracting interest from Tony Pullis’ West Brom side in the Premier League as well as Bristol City in the Championship.
The youngster was awarded for his fine form by getting a call-up by Donald Park to the Scotland U19 squad for games against Czech Republic, Armenia, and Luxemburg.
Former Pars boss, Allan Johnson was full of praise for the striker, stating:
“If he keeps playing the way he’s been playing I don’t think it will be long until he’s in the under-21s squad, never mind the 19s.
“It’s about trying to get into the first-team squad and being round about it.
“If you’re good enough you’ll be involved. That’s always been the message at Dunfermline.
“At that age it’s important to play first-team football, that’s how you progress.”
Unfortunately, ever since, the now 20-year-old hasn’t had a sniff near the Dunfermline squad and has been sent out on loan to Alloa, Arbroath and Airdrie.
- Work rate
- Fantastic Attitude
- Electric Pace
- Not clinical enough- 11 goals in 87 appearances
- Struggles to impose himself on games
- Hasn’t played in the SPFL
What Hamilton Fans Think of The Signing
@stillsweatshirt – “I’m excited by the potential he has shown previously in the league & the national side, now I’m just hopeful he can hit the ground running. I also think it’s important for Accies fans to get behind him from the start & show him & the rest of the squad support for this tough season ahead.”
@_lewishamilton_ “A good young prospect that provides a different dynamic to our striking options. Was a handful against us in the Betfred Cup game, the only time I’ve seen him play. He had explosive pace and was always looking for an opportunity to get in behind. One of the few players that caught my eye that day. Airdrie seem to rate him highly given he was awarded Directors Young Player of the Year and I’m looking forward to see what he can do for us next year.”
What Dunfermline Fans Make of Smith
@1885Ben- “Callum Smith is a massive gamble for Hamilton to take considering their need to stay afloat in the Premiership every season. They’ve done it extremely well over the last 5-6 season but, with signings of this quality, I’d really begin to question if their squad will have the grit and determination to do it once more. If Smith goes on to cut the grade at Premiership level, then I’ll eat a huge slice of humble pie. However, I didn’t really bat an eyelid at his release from Dunfermline, so he’s got a lot to prove in my eyes.”
@DBuickJnr- “ Callum hasn’t seen a great deal of first team action at Dunfermline, his best spell in the first team was at the start of the 17/18 season where he partnered Declan McManus up front as the team started the season on fire. After Nicky Clark returned from injury, he failed to ever really get back into the first team regularly. He then had loan spells at Alloa and Arbroath where he never really did enough to warrant really consideration for first team football back at Dunfermline. Admittedly his final and most recent spell at Airdrie was his most fruitful, I think under normal circumstances he may have been given a shot to stake his claim next season but ended up being released. He’s still a good age although I must admit I’m shocked at the move and I’d be surprised if he is able to make the step up to Premiership football.”
Without doubt, Smith will be eager to get up and running with his new side with the timing right to impress and implement his ability into the gaffers thoughts.
Although I agree that Hamilton have taken a gamble on Callum Smith, it could be one that pays off. Our reserve side were announced as league winners this afternoon and if Smith can rekindle the same form he had in Dunfermline’s development side and rediscover some confidence, we could have an exciting prospect in our hands.
The opportunity to gel with team mates hopefully will see the young Scotsman be an established figure with Accies in years to come.