IT doesn’t seem that long ago that Brian Eas­ton was the youth­ful prospect emerg­ing at Hamil­ton Ac­cies and be­ing guided through the early steps of his ca­reer by the se­nior pro­fes­sion­als at the club.

Thir­teen years later and the shoe is on the other foot. Eas­ton, now a veteran at 31 years old, is back for a third stint at his first club and ful­fill­ing the role of ex­pe­ri­enced men­tor to the batch of young ta­lent emerg­ing from Ac­cies’ fa­bled youth academy.

All be­ing well, the de­fender will make his 150th club ap­pear­ance in to­mor­row’s derby away to Mother­well.

And Eas­ton would like noth­ing more than to com­mem­o­rate that mile­stone with a vic­tory in the fi­nal out­ing be­fore the win­ter shut­down.

“It would be a great hon­our to make my 150th ap­pear­ance for the club against Mother­well,” he said. “I ob­vi­ously started my ca­reer here and played a fair few games in my first spell.

“And de­spite some of the re­sults, I’ve been re­ally happy and lov­ing life back here again this sea­son. It’s about bring­ing through young, home­grown ta­lent and ob­vi­ously it’s about pick­ing up points.

“With the youth we have in this team – and from what I’ve seen so far from the ma­jor­ity of games this sea­son – there’s enough there to get it right. Once we start pick­ing up points th­ese boys will get all of the ex­pe­ri­ence they need and it’s about build­ing for years ahead.

“The bot­tom line is mak­ing sure we start climb­ing the table as it’s im­por­tant we get as high as we can.”

The La­nark­shire ver­sion is never likely to be mis­taken for Boca Ju­niors ver­sus River Plate when it comes to the in­ten­sity and pas­sion of a derby.

But Eas­ton in­sists that lo­cal ri­valry will add a bit of ex­tra spice to pro­ceed­ings at Fir Park.

He added: “We need points on the board. But it’s also a derby and a vic­tory over our ri­vals is some­thing the fans are des­per­ate for.

“It’s a mas­sive game for us. It’s the last game be­fore the win­ter break so we need to go in there looking to win the game. “If you look at the way we’ve played in the last few weeks then we are def­i­nitely ca­pa­ble of do­ing that. It’s just the lit­tle things we need to do bet­ter. Once we do that we will get that run go­ing that we need to start climb­ing the table. “This league is so tight this sea­son. If you can win three or four games and put a good run to­gether then you quickly find your­self up the table and play­ing with a bit of con­fi­dence.

“You then open gaps up be­tween teams. It’s still so tight at the bot­tom. We look at the way we played in the first half against St John­stone and some of the sec­ond half and we know we are play­ing very well. If we can get the small things right then it’s go­ing to hope­fully turn around for us.”

Ac­cies academy grad­u­ate Brian Eas­ton

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