Speaking after his goal secured our Premiership status for a fourth successive season, Greg Docherty spoke with Martin McConnell and the assembled media….
Was that your sweetest moment then?
“Without a doubt, but it won’t sink in for a very, very long time I don’t think. I still can’t believe it. It’s probably been one of the longest days of my life, no, the longest week or eight days. I mean it’s been mentally tough, but so worth it in the end I suppose.”
Talk us through it then. You had the two guys running at you, didn’t you?
“A few boys in the side will tell you that I’m called the ‘Stand Finder’ due to my shots. So, it’s not a nickname that I enjoy and I’ve been itching to prove them wrong, and thankfully in the last five or six games I’ve been getting closer and closer, and finally one has dropped for me.
After getting the early booking, how hard was it to keep your discipline?
“It was difficult, it’s one I had to take. The manager said that, I was going to be playing in a deeper role than normal and that I’d need to take a card if needed, just to stop the play. It just keeps you switched on I suppose, but again, you’re running into tackles thinking ‘be careful and don’t do anything stupid’. I just knew that I had to relax, keep my head and not let the occasion get the better of me.”
How much relief did you feel when the goal went in, given the week leading to the game?
“See for the fans, it means so much for them. And the players, we didn’t know what to do. I just wanted the game to end there and then, I didn’t want to play any longer. But it was difficult as I didn’t want to come off. We’ve got a good squad here and we deserve to be in the Premiership, and I’m just so glad that we’re safe for another year at least.”
What does this mean for this football club?
“It huge, George Cairns pulled me in today and said ‘Look, you need to do it for the youth. We need this youth academy’ and that’s what it’s all about at Hamilton. Let me tell you. It’s well documented, it’s all about the youth and I’m so glad that I can give something back. For me that might end up priceless, I’ve been here a long time and if I can give something back then I’m happy with that.”
That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself.
“If you want to be a footballer, you have to deal with pressure. I’m elated just now, my mouth is so dry. When I saw the added three minutes, I couldn’t bear it, it was the longest three minutes of my life. But it’s over and I’m going to enjoy my summer, that’s for sure.”
It was a big result for the manager, what have you got to say about what he has done?
“Well I’ll always be eternally grateful to him, he gave me a chance and I’ve now got about seventy games under him. He has believed in me from the start and put me into big games and occasions and never doubted me. So I’m grateful to him and all the coaching staff here. It’s massive for a club like us to be in the Premiership next year, and to be starting a fourth year in the league is another boost. But it’s a position I’d rather not have been in, I’d rather not have played in the play-offs. I’d rather not have to talk to you all just now and finished in a comfortable position, but look, it’s happened and we’ve won. We’ll now build on from here.”
The manager has not had his critics to seek, do you think this might be a turning point?
“I hope so, maybe. Going into these games, there was a lot of positivity on social media, particularly after the result the other night. The fans were excellent. We’re a small club with a small catchment area, we do well and we’re all passionate that’s for sure. We always give 100% every single day and we’ll continue to do that. That’s the Hamilton way.”