Former Hearts and Hibs men linked with shock move to ambitious Championship new boys

Former Hibs midfielder Greg Docherty (Pic: Getty)Former Hibs midfielder Greg Docherty (Pic: Getty)
Former Hibs midfielder Greg Docherty (Pic: Getty) | Getty Images
The SPFL is in for a busy summer transfer window as clubs across the divisions look to get stuck into the market.

Hamilton Accies have secured their promotion straight back up to the Scottish Championship next season — a statement comeback following their 2022/23 relegation. They enjoyed a thrilling 5-3 aggregate win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the play-off final and will once again compete in Scotland’s tier after their hard graft this season.

The players have been sent out on an all-expenses-paid trip to Ibiza to celebrate their triumph but the club are not wasting any time in looking at how they can improve the squad for their Championship return after the summer. Accies are aiming high on the transfer market and have been linked with Scottish Premiership and EFL Championship players to bolster their ranks.

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Former Hibs loanee Greg Docherty currently plays for Hull City in England’s second tier and his contract is due to expire next month. The midfielder has been added to Hamilton transfer shortlist, along with ex-Hearts star Connor Smith.

The 22-year-old Smith spent five-and-a-half years with the Jambos after coming through their youth setup. He was loaned out on numerous occasions, including a short stint to New Douglas Park in 2023, where he has seemingly been remembered.

Smith now plays for St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership and his contract runs until 2025 but manager John Rankin is eager to try and bring him back to the club. Accies are reportedly seeking a loan deal for the 22-year-old, with an option to make the move permanent. Smith has worked with Rankin before, both during his spell with the Lanarkshire club and during his time as a youth player with Hearts.

Docherty, who made eight goalscoring contributions in as many matches during his Hibs spell, will leave Hull for free this summer and Lanarkshire Live Sport has reported that Accies have already made contact with the 27-year-old. Docherty rose through the club’s academy and spent six years on their books — he made a total of 108 appearances in red and white and contributed eight goals and 13 assists along the way.

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Docherty was also responsible for the one lone goal scored during Hamilton’s 2017 play-off final with Dundee United. The midfielder scored in the first leg to give Accies the overall 1-0 aggregate win to secure their place in the Premiership.

Motherwell midfielder Barry Maguire is also on the radar for the ambitious Hamilton Accies and talks are set to be held this week about a potential switch. Like Docherty, his current deal is expiring and he will be available to sign for free from Fir Park. Maguire also enjoyed stints with Dundee and most recently a loan spell with National League side Kidderminster.