Hamilton Accies boss John Rankin confirms he's signed new deal and discusses Lewis Latona's Hull City trial

Accies boss John Rankin, left, and assistant boss Darian MacKinnon -Credit:DJT PHOTOGRAPHY
Accies boss John Rankin, left, and assistant boss Darian MacKinnon -Credit:DJT PHOTOGRAPHY

John Rankin says he is delighted to commit his future to Hamilton Accies after he and assistant manager Darian MacKinnon penned new deals at New Douglas Park.

As revealed by Lanarkshire Live Sport last week, the duo have signed contract extensions which will tie them to the club for at least the next three years. The League One outfit are set to make an official announcement on the news later this week.

Rankin took the reins in June 2022 after Stuart Taylor left the club and has since guided them to the SPFL Trust Trophy - the club's first silverware in 30 years. He was unable to keep them in the Championship last season after a play-off final defeat to Airdrie on penalties, but this week takes the team back into the play-offs looking for an immediate return to the second tier.

Rankin told Lanarkshire Live Sport: "I'm delighted to sign a new deal until 2027. The new board has got a vision of what they want to do and they see Daz and I as a big part of that. I'm happy to be here.

"There has been a lot of change behind the scenes in my time here and it is a place I enjoy working. Now it is a case of us making sure we get things right on the pitch. That is the biggest challenge for us now and it always is as a manager.

"I have said from day one that it's all about making sure the players give you everything they've got. I can certainly say the players have worked their hardest every day this season and over the next few weeks we need to make sure that remains the case and we get where we want to be."

News of Rankin and MacKinnon's new deals come after defender Fergus Owens and striker Kevin O'Hara also penned extensions at the club.

Meanwhile, Rankin has confirmed Lewis Latona has been on trial with English Championship side Hull City and won't feature in the play-offs for the club. The 17-year-old spent 10 days down south amid a potential switch to the Tigers at the end of the season.

Latona made his league debut for the club in a 3-1 win at Annan last month, having twice played for Accies on the road to them lifting the SPFL Trust Trophy last season, and has caught the eye of Hull scouts who invited him to train with their development team.

Rankin said: "Lewis has been attracting interest and we've had a note of interest from a club down south. He went down last week to have a look at them and for them to have a look at him. He is now back up the road. Lewis would have been involved on Saturday and would have played against Kelty but he was missing from the squad because of this trip.

"He played against Annan for us last month and came on and made an impact in that game but, due to the circumstances of him being away for a period of time, he wasn't able to play for us. He hasn't trained with us at all since he was down there, so he won't be involved in any of these play-off games because he has spent the past 10 days down south and not with the group.

"It would be a big transition for him, being a young Scottish lad who has never been away from home before, so I think that was part of the reason why he was away for a while, to see how he might handle that obvious change in his life."

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