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NAME: New Douglas Park
ADDRESS: Cadzow Avenue, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, ML3 0FT
CAPACITY: Approx. 6,000.
CELTIC ALLOCATION: TBC for season 2008/09.
RECORD VICTORY: Celtic 10, Hamilton Accies 0, 11 September 1968.
RECORD DEFEAT: Celtic 0, Hamilton Accies 3, 31 December 1932.
BY CAR: From the M74, take junction 5 - sign posted East Kilbride. Follow signs for Hamilton along Bothwell Road. You'll pass the Sewerage Works, Cat & Dog Home and the Racecourse all on your left, as well as the Fire Brigade's HQ on your right. At the first set of lights, turn right onto Caird Street heading for the Retail Park. Parking is on your left. To get to the stadium, turn right into New Park Street and continue onto Auchinraith Avenue passing Morrisons. Turn left at the mini roundabout into the stadium car park.
BY BUS: Unknown.
BY TRAIN: The stadium is next to Hamilton West station. Note, it is nowhere near Hamilton Central! To get to Hamilton West, you can get a train from Glasgow Central's lower level for Motherwell via Blantyre.
PARKING: There is a car park at the ground but on match days it is used by the club. For visitors car parking, there is a car park belonging to South Lanarkshire Council off Caird Street.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Sainsburys. The original Douglas Park is right next to the location of New Douglas Park, except it is no longer there and a Sainsburys shop stands in its place.
Grass. Despite New Douglas Park having spent the last few seasons with an artificial surface which was reportedly much better than that used at East End Park, Dunfermline, and the fact that the 2007/08 season was full of postponements due to the condition of nearby Fir Park's pitch, SPL rules have forced Hamilton to rip up the surface and lay grass for the 2008/09 season.
Hamilton Accies were founded in 1874... they think. Records from that time are sketchy, and with a number of football teams in the Hamilton area coming and going, there is no real proof of their exact founding time. Their first recorded game, however, was 12th December 1874 against another Hamilton's second XI. As such, 1874 is accepted as their founding date.
While generally accepted as being called Hamilton Accies, their original name is Hamilton Academical. As time passed, an s appeared at the end of this name for Hamilton Academicals. This was originally shortened to Acas, but the more common name is now Accies.
There is no apparent record of Hamilton Academical's home ground until 1888 when they moved into Douglas Park. They remained at Douglas Park until 1994 when the stadium was finally closed for the last time due to its poor condition and the need for a new, modern stadium. Hamilton would spend the next seven years on the road, sharing Firhill with Partick Thistle, before New Douglas Park would be their home in the summer of 2001.
Hamilton Accies were admitted to the football league in 1897 is unusual fashion. Renton FC, one of the founders of the league, were having financial troubles and eventually tendered their resignation. Hamilton were awarded their four results and their remaining fixtures for the season.
During their years on the road, things looked bleak for Hamilton. From being a team in the first division in 1994, they quickly found themselves in the second division. Ongoing takeover rumours and bids, discussions with the council and other things behind the scenes kept Accies away from their home town. But the worst story came when a game against Stenhousemuir was postponed after a player strike over pay. Hamilton were eventually docked so many points for that incident that they were relegated to the third division in May 2000. However, the following month saw work commence on New Douglas Park, the following season Accies won the third division to bounce straight back up, and in July 2001 Sunderland visited to open the new stadium. A successful takeover finally took place in 2003, and Accies returned to the first division in 2004.
Hamilton returned to Scotland's top division in 2008, a position they have not held since they were relegated from the SFL Premier Division in season 1988-89. It is worth noting that they have achieved this by following a strict youth policy, refusing to bring in older experienced players unlike many other first division teams who are hellbent on making it into the SPL. They have also stated that they intend to continue this policy following their promotion.
TIM FRIENDLY PUBS
The Academical Vaults (The Vaults) sits diagonally to the right from the exit of Hamilton West train station.
As it's name suggests, and due to it's proximity to New (and what was the old) Douglas Park it is a base for Hamilton fans but is extremely busy when Celtic are on TV and a bus also runs to home games.
PUBS TO AVOID
Bar West at Peacock Cross is a definite one to avoid.
Latest page update: made by Paolo7
, Oct 23 2009, 11:49 AM EDT
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