Goalkeeper Jack Hamilton learned a lot about himself during Dundee’s “disaster” last season and he’s determined to put relegation firmly in the past by getting off to a flyer on Saturday.
The Dark Blues kick off their 2019/20 campaign this weekend with a Betfred Cup group game at Raith Rovers.
A positive pre-season has the Dens Parkers looking forward for the first time in a while and Hamilton is keen to keep that feeling going with a good start to the campaign proper.
The No 1 goalie at Dens added injury to the insult of relegation as he missed the second half of the season after surgery on his hand.
He told the Tele: “It is a big season for me.
“Last season was disappointing but there’s no point looking back, we need to look forward as a club.
“The fans have been absolutely fantastic and there was a good crowd on Tuesday against Blackpool – we owe them a bit as well so we’re looking to pay something back to them.
“Last season was a tough season but it’s something I’ve learned a lot from.
“That’s made me a better person on and off the pitch so the plan is to put that into practice this year.
“Last season is done and dusted. It was a disaster to put it bluntly and we start again on Saturday and have to kick on from there.”
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with the Evening Telegraph newsletter
So far so good for the former Hearts goalie during the club’s build-up to the new season with no goals conceded during a half against Brechin City and two 90 minutes against Nottingham Forest and Blackpool.
However, that only matters if he and his team-mates can take their good form into Saturday’s clash at Stark’s Park.
“We take confidence from these games and not conceding is always nice as a goalkeeper!
“That’s credit to the team as well but it is pre-season, friendly games which mean nothing.
“Whether we can do it on Saturday, that’s the big test. That’s where it matters and it would be nice to keep a clean sheet there.
Hamilton added: “It’s been a good pre-season.
“From the first day back with the new boys coming in they’ve been some really good additions and we’ve got some really good boys in the dressing-room.
“Pre-season has been great and I think every single person has enjoyed coming in and enjoyed working hard.
“The games have been against decent sides. The first match against Brechin was good just to get back out on the pitch, then Forest were an outfit with some top players and Scunthorpe was another tough game.
“Then taking all that into Blackpool on Tuesday it was good to have a positive pre-season. It is pre-season, though, and the real games start on Saturday.”
Hamilton is out to impress yet another new manager – his third in just a year at the club after signing for Neil McCann from Hearts and then featuring under Jim McIntyre until the turn of the year.
The 25-year-old did have a preview of James McPake’s methods, however, when turning out for the reserves and is enjoying working under the new gaffer again.
Hamilton said: “The manager has been here for a while and knows the club inside out. I never had the pleasure of playing with him, though I’m sure I played against him at some point, but watched him in games and you could see what he was like as a player – he was a leader.
“I played a couple of games under him for the reserves last year and he was really positive in what he did.
“That was good and I really enjoyed it. He was a top player and a leader – hopefully that can rub off on the rest of us.”