Hamilton chairman Allan Maitland confirmed of signings of midfield pair Ross Callachan and Charlie Trafford yesterday afternoon.
He told Lanarkshire Live Sport: “[Manager] Brian Rice knows both players very well, and Ross was a player we were looking at before, so we’re delighted with both.
“We’re working on some other bits and pieces, but we’re delighted to have both of them secured today.
“We’re aware of the fact that we’ve got a younger squad this season, and with the players that have left we had a couple of gaps, so both Ross and Charlie will go a long way to filling that, particularly in the middle of the park. This strengthens us in that area, we’re delighted with both of them.
I’m looking on to other areas now, and I’m quite happy with our midfield. I’m hoping to sign a couple more this week.
“We’re expecting a couple of injuries once we start training and playing, so we have some trialists in as well, and we’ll see how that works out as well.”
Callachan came through the youth system at Raith Rovers, making his debut in a 3-0 defeat against Partick Thistle at just 17 years-old.
He went on to make 167 appearances for the Rovers, scoring eight goals and providing 10 assists during his seven-year spell in Kirkcaldy.
He moved to his boyhood club Hearts of Midlothian for an undisclosed fee in 2017, but after one season at Tynecastle, he rapidly slipped down the pecking order following a costly mistake against Motherwell.
In the summer of 2018, Hearts brought in several midfielders, giving Callachan next to no chance of recapturing his starting place.
He looked elsewhere for regular first-team football and signed a two-year deal at St Johnstone.
He made 27 appearances during his first season for Tommy Wright’s side, scoring one goal. But similarly to his time at Hearts, after one year, he fell out of favour. He made two cup appearances and two league starts last season before being sent out on-loan to Dundee in January.
Unfortunately for Ross, shortly after joining the Championship side, he fractured his leg and his season was declared over.
Dundee boss James McPake was reportedly keen on bringing the 26-year-old back to Dens Park following his release by St Johnstone, but Accies swooped in and signed the midfielder.
After speaking to a couple of Saints fans, I’ve been getting the vibe that Accies could be onto something here as most of them said that Callachan didn’t get a good enough chance in Perth.
@Browning84Greg said: “He’s in desperate need of a run of games and the injury at Dundee was a real setback for Ross. If he stays fit he will give Hamilton energy in midfield as he is really completive and got real battling qualities. He was totally bombed out by Tommy Wright and nobody really understood why, although the form of Ali McCann and Murray Davidson plus the additions of Jason Holt and Callum Butcher didn’t help. He was probably fifth/sixth choice. Nevertheless, he is a good addition for Hamilton.”
@Brandon1884_v2 said: “I think Ross Callachan should’ve been given more time at St Johnstone and started more often in all honesty. He is slightly similar to Murray Davidson in that he’s not afraid to dive into tackles and burst forward with pace. He is a decent box to box midfielder and although he never stood out in games, he was a strong player who just couldn’t keep consistency in playing. I think he will do well if he’s playing consistently at Accies and could become a proper player for them. I would have kept him at St Johnstone.
After losing star man Alex Gogic at the end of last term, it was vital that the Allan Maitland and the rest of the board replaced the defensive-midfielder and it looks as if Brian Rice has got his man.
Charlie Trafford was one of 14 players who were not offered a new deal at the Caley Jags at the end of last season, ending his three-year stay in the Highlands.
The 28-year-old joined John Robertson’s side in 2017 from Finnish side Rovaniemen Palloseura(ROPS) and went on to make 97 appearances for Inverness, including being part of the squad that won the Challenge Cup final against Dumbarton.
The Canadian international spent some of his youth career at hometown side Calgary FC before having spells with Vancouver Whitecaps and De Graafschap U21 sides.
The 6’3′ defensive midfielder started out his senior professional career in Finland having spells with IFK Mariehamn, TPS, and KUPS, where he won Player Of The Year and Goal Of The Year.
Trafford made the switch south to the Polish Ekstraklasa to join Korona Kielce, but after struggling for game time he dropped down a division to play for Sandecja Nowy Sacz.
A return to Finland was next for Trafford, but only a month later, and a day after signing a new deal at ROPS, he joined Inverness Caley Thistle in a deal that he couldn’t refuse.
Recently, Trafford admitted on Canadian Podcast Tidal League FC that he was in talks with several clubs, but I imagine being settled in Scotland could have been a huge factor in him joining Hamilton.
@Scottbamby said: “Trafford is a hard working, physical midfielder who will always give 100% – although quite often rash in decision making, he will offer Hamilton bite in midfield although he will need to improve to impress in the Premiership.”
@DanielHazell99 said: “Trafford isn’t the most technically gifted player in the world but he’ll make up for it in heart and desire. Nobody can fault his commitment but games often pass him by. I’m surprised he’s got the move up to the Premiership – he’s not a bad player, but I wouldn’t have had him in our strongest XI from last season.
“He’ll have one game every 20 where he’s a standout and will be that physical presence we have wanted since Ross Draper left, but then he’ll have a bad run of games afterwards.
“Rice will know him from his time here so obviously thinks he can get the best out of him. Whereas I was disappointed with Oakley leaving and believed he could make the step up. I’m not so sure about Trafford but time will tell.”
Hamilton have made three signings already in the transfer window, but chairman Allan Maitland is aware that they are still a few players short from a complete side.
Brian Easton picked up lengthy injury and is ruled out to October therefore it is pivotal a new centre-back walks through the door at New Douglas Park as well as a new right-back to replace fans favourite Aaron McGowan.