Signing 24-year-old Jack Hamilton is “a great piece of business” according to a man who knows a thing or two about keeping goal for Dundee.
Derek ‘Soapy’ Soutar had two spells at Dens Park, totalling eight years, and has seen first-hand how good Hamilton can be.
After Soutar suffered an injury in his time at Forfar back in 2012, a young keeper by the name of Hamilton came in on emergency loan to cover at the age of 18.
Watching his progress since, Soutar was delighted to see him arrive at Dundee.
Soutar said: “I was very surprised Hearts let him go.
“He came in on loan at Forfar when he was just 18. He was a great size, very athletic and a really good shot-stopper, great at one-on-ones and his distribution was excellent, too.
“With Jon McLaughlin leaving I thought it would be the ideal chance for Craig Levein to put Jack in for pre-season.
“He’s moved on, though, and Dundee have a great signing.
“I worked with Jack, he’s a great lad and really down to earth personality.
“I think it’s a great bit of business by Neil McCann.
“He’s a good age with plenty of experience as well at Hearts and all the different levels with Scotland.
“It’s a massive signing for Dundee – he could be there for years to come.
“He will have to bide his time, though, because Elliott Parish did really well at the end of last season after Scott Bain left.
“Every goalie is going to have times when it’s not going for you but Elliott got through that and didn’t do a lot wrong. He’ll take some shifting for Jack.
“What it will do is push Parish to be as good as he can because he knows Jack will be breathing down his neck.”
After a steady first season at the now renamed Kilmac Stadium, Parish will feel he’s the current No 1 at the club but the arrival of another senior goalie can spur both to excel – and that’s good news for the Dark Blues.
Hamilton has represented Scotland at every age level from U/15 to U/21 and was called up to a squad by Gordon Strachan in May 2016.
He didn’t get a first senior cap but Soutar reckons he can push his way back into the national set-up by impressing for Dundee.
He added: “Not so long ago he was in the Scotland squad.
“He maybe lost a bit of confidence last season at Hearts and being on the bench.
“He’s very professional and will push himself to the max to make sure he’s ready for pre-season at Dundee.
“He’s very level-headed, he’s not one for the big-time if you know what I mean, he’s not a flashy kind of guy.
“I know the kind of level Jack can play at, I’ve worked with him and I think he could get himself back in the Scotland set-up while at Dundee.
“Whatever fee was paid, he’ll definitely justify it.
“Further down the line, he could even get Dundee a fee if he moves on so, for that reason, I think it’s a great piece of business.
“Working with (goalkeeping coach) Rab Geddes every week, too, can only bring the best out in Jack.
“A three-year deal gives him security and playing for a manager who wants him in Neil McCann will help no end.”
The former Dundee and Aberdeen goalie, meanwhile, is still going strong with his Derek Soutar Goalkeeping Academy.
“It’s still going really well,” he added. “That’s us had 38 goalies over seven years go on to play pro-youth and we’ve had one recently go out to the US for a scholarship.”
Any budding young goalies can find out more on the academy’s Facebook page.