The Struggle Is Worth It

12 February 2011 09:15
Playing the game he loves and getting paid for it is just what Andy Graham always wanted Hamilton are facing an uphill battle against relegation from the SPL but defender Andy Graham is loving every hard minute of it. He achieved a long-held ambition when he moved to Accies from part-time football at Stirling Albion last summer.  However, despite a poor season to date, which sees Billy Reid's men still looking for their first home win in the SPL, Graham is still full of enthusiasm. Graham said: "Even though we are down at the bottom of the league and in a relegation battle, I am absolutely loving it. It is ridiculous, like a dream come true. It is a totally new experience for me and something I have enjoyed and I am still enjoying, but hopefully we can get a result on Saturday that kick-starts the season." The move from part time football required Graham to leave his job with Glasgow City Council which involved trying to re-engage disadvantaged young people with education. While he misses the challenges he face with helping young people Graham is enjoying the differences between part-time and full-time football. He said: "When I was part-time with Stirling you saw a lot of people come down from SPL or other clubs and didn't know what to do. It was a shock for them. So to come the other way was good, I know I always have that to fall back on. I can relax and enjoy this more, easier to take that transition to full-time. Training every day is brilliant." Accies welcome third placed Hearts on the on the back of a 3-1 Scottish Cup defeat by Dundee United which saw manager Billy Reid face abuse from a couple of supporters. But his assistant Stuart Taylor maintains Reid will not be affected as he bids to ensure Accies enjoy a fourth consecutive season in the top flight. Taylor said: "Our supporters are entitled to have their opinion but it doesn't affect us. We are all strong characters and we will keep focused on our job and keep striving. Billy knows what he wants to achieve and I'm sure he will steer us in the right direction. People to do get carried away and expectations rise, and quite rightly so because you always look to better yourself in life and it's no different here. The players and staff are ambitious." While the long term goal is SPL survival, the immediate goal is to claim a first three points of the season at New Douglas Park, but to do that Hamilton must beat a Hearts side whose last SPL defeat outside of Glasgow came in October. Taylor said: "Jim Jefferies and Billy Brown have come in and have strengthened the squad but they are not unbeatable. We have a plan where we think we can win the game and we will stick with that." Editor Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)This is ScottishFitba Net