A player who earned a glowing reference in Scottish football last season was Chris Hamilton of Hearts. He spent last season out on loan at Cowdenbeath where he made 23 appearances for the League Two side before Scottish football came to a halt due to COVID-19. Now the young centre back has joined Dumbarton on a loan deal until January. Luke Mazoyer reports.
Chris Hamilton, 19, joined Hearts youth academy aged 8, from local club Crossgates, and in 2019 penned a 3-year extension with the Jambos. So far in his career he has had loan spells at Berwick Rangers and Cowdenbeath before making the loan move to Dumbarton.
In the 17/18 season, Hamilton was handed his senior debut along with many other Hearts youth players away to Kilmarnock. Although they lost 1-0, it was great to see the youngsters who are coming through the Hearts academy getting their chance.
Just weeks after receiving his Hearts debut the talented defender was called up to the Scotland under-21s squad after impressing manager Scott Gemmill with performances. He came off the bench in a 1-0 win against France under-21s at the Toulon Tournament- a brilliant achievement for the youngster being just 16 at the time and the youngest in the squad.
It is fair to say Chris Hamilton has done well for Hearts reserves, too. The captain of the side; he lead his team to the SPFL Reserve Cup final in 2018/19 in which they faced Motherwell Reserves. Hearts took the game by the scruff of the neck and beat Motherwell 2-0 in the final at Tynecastle to be crowned champions.
This season Chris has a new challenge to look forward to in League One with Dumbarton. After becoming in a mainstay in the Cowdenbeath XI, it is time for him to take it up a level.
The former Beath High School pupil played the majority of his games in the middle of defence for Cowdenbeath last season, but he has also been tried in each full back position whilst taking up a role in midfield on the odd occasion.
With Dumbarton confirming the signing of the Scottish under 21 defender, manager Jim Duffy had only positives things to say about this bit of business. “Chris earned very positive reviews from his time with Cowdenbeath last season and we’re looking forward to seeing how he does here.”
“He’s young, but has a real appetite for the game and is determined to push on. That really ticks a box for us and he will increase competition for places.” It is clear from the manager’s comments that he is excited to see what the young defender can bring to the table this season for The Sons.
Chris Hamilton’s strongest attribute would have to be his tackling, his aggression to bulldoze through and win 50-50’s against his opponent. But that’s not to say he is an old school defender. The youngster has a very good range of passing and is good in the air despite being 5ft 7ins tall. He was a very key part of the Hearts Reserve team in 2019 when they swooped the SPFL reserve cup.
What has got Chris this far is his willingness to work hard. He is highly rated at Hearts and Scotland so his recent loan move to Dumbarton looks to be a good move for his career. Hamilton is certainly one to keep your eye on this season, if he can help Dumbarton gain promotion, he may give Robbie Nielson something to think about next year.
(Image taken from Heart of Midlothian website)