Former Rangers man Greg Docherty a Hamilton target as ambitious Accies also eye Connor Smith and Barry Maguire for Championship return

Greg Docherty's strike won Hamilton's Premiership place in the 2017 play-off final against Dundee United
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

Ambitious Hamilton Accies are aiming high in the transfer market this summer ahead of their return to the Championship with former stars Greg Docherty and Connor Smith on their list of targets.

The New Douglas Park side sealed an immediate return to the second tier on Saturday when they defeated Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Championship play-off final. And they are keen to bolster their squad by bringing back two club heroes, as well as Motherwell midfielder Barry Maguire.

Hull City midfielder Docherty came through the academy at Accies and spent six years there, with four seasons spent playing in the Scottish Premiership having fired them up to the Championship by scoring the winner in the 2017 Championship play-off final against Dundee United. He then earned a big move to Rangers in 2017 before loan spells at Hibs and Shrewsbury.

He is being released by Hull at the end of his contract this month and Lanarkshire Live Sport understands the club have already made contact with the player.

New Accies owner Seref Zengin has ties to Hull City supremo Acun Ilicali and the clubs have already worked together this month to arrange Accies youngster Lewis Latona's recent trial with the Tigers.

Hamilton boss John Rankin says it's unlikely that Connor Smith will return to the club and doesn't want to rely on loans anyway
Connor Smith at Accies -Credit:SNS Group

Smith is another ex-Accie boss John Rankin is hoping to entice back to the club. The 22-year-old midfielder is currently with St Johnstone and under contract for another year, but Accies are understood to be seeking a loan deal with a view to making that permanent. Smith has worked with Rankin before and is well-known to the Accies gaffer from their stint in the Hearts youth setup and a loan spell at the Lanarkshire club in 2023.

The player was also spotted out celebrating Hamilton Accies' promotion with some of his old pals and potential new team-mates for next season in Glasgow's Wunderbar on Sunday night.

Finally, Accies are also interested in signing Motherwell midfielder Barry Maguire and are set to hold talks with the player this week about crossing the Lanarkshire divide. Maguire spent the second half of last season on loan at Dundee and this term he has been on loan at English National League side Kidderminster, with his Fir Park deal expiring at the end of the month.

Maguire started out at Hamilton, playing for the club's academy before joining the Steelmen's youth setup in 2014.

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