ALEX NEIL JOINS HAMILTON
http://www.stellargroup.co.uk/football.php?footballid=198 (website of his agents)
The 23 year-old Doncaster-born midfielder began his career as a trainee at Aidrie and he went on to make 16 appearances in Scotland before being snapped up by Barnsley, who were in Division One at the time.
A run of injuries in the Barnsley first team gave Alex his chance in the 2000/1 season and he never looked back, quickly impressing Oakwell regulars with his high-class displays in midfield. In the 2002/3 season Alex had a run of 34 consecutive starts in the first team and he spent four years at Oakwell, making over 120 appearances and scoring four times.
Once his contract expired, Alex was on the move again, this time to Mansfield for the 2004/5 season. He made 43 appearances for the Stags, scoring twice, as the side consolidated a mid-table place in League Two.
But after new manager Carlton Palmer surprisingly told him he was not part of his plans for the following season, Alex decided on a return to Scotland and a crack at getting Hamilton Academicals into the Scottish Premier League
Former Airdrie midfielder signs a two-year deal...
(21 May 2005)
According to today's (Saturday) Daily Record, we have signed ex-Airdrie and Mansfield midfielder Alex Neil on a two-year contract. This rumour was posted on the AcciesWorld forum around lunchtime yesterday, so whether this rumour is true, or the papers have just decided to make a story out of it, it is anyone's guess. But it would appear to be the latter, as the AcciesWorld editor phoned up the club only to be told that there was no confirmation of the signing.
Anyway, Neil began his career with Airdrie and made his debut for them as an 18-year-old in 1999. He played 16 games and scored 5 goals, before earning himself a £25,000 move south to English side Barnsley in July 2000. He was a regular first-team starter for the side in his four seasons there (141 apps, 1 goal), but when a new manager and chairman arrived at Oakwell, his contract wasn't renewed, so he joined up with ex-Barnsley star and one-time team-mate Keith Curle at Mansfield after impressing in a trial. This season he made 43 appearances and scored 2 goals.
If the story is true, this would be a good signing for Accies, as Neil has been able to hold his own and play at a decent level in England, not to mention, a level that could be argued as being vastly superior to the Scottish First Division. Being able to play on the right of and also in the centre of midfield suggests that he is a direct replacement for David Hamilton who left for Stranraer earlier this week. We'll just have to wait and see...
(comment from Martin - I have still not seen official confirmation of this anywhere; if you have, please email me ) **UPDATE - confirmed by story above from player's agents' website**
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