Carlton Morris will return to Norwich City a better player after Hamilton stint
- Credit: PA
Carlton Morris' impact on-loan at Hamilton is only strengthening cross-border ties between Norwich City and the Accies.
The FA Youth Cup-winning striker linked up with Alex Neil's successor, Martin Canning, at New Douglas Park this season and scored a vital brace in last weekend's 3-1 win at Dundee United which looks set to keep Accies in the Scottish Premiership.
'Carlton has come up and from his point of view he is now playing in the Scottish Premiership and playing at Parkhead, Aberdeen, places like that,' said Accies' director Ronnie MacDonald, who along with Canning were guests of Neil at Wembley for Norwich's play-off final victory. 'It is a huge step up from academy football but he is starting to do well. It was maybe a quiet three or four months but you can see he is getting into it now. We have a young dressing room with boys around his age and a good team spirit. He is starting to fly and scored the two goals last Saturday. Carlton is a good lad. If it gets him up playing men's football that has to be good for both parties.'
Neil's commitment to youth development was a key part of his success at Hamilton and there are signs he is looking to mimic the same strategy with the January signings of young talent like James Maddison, Ben Godfrey and Ebou Adams.
'The problem with academy football down south is probably managers can't afford to take the risk because there is so much at stake, although knowing Alex if he had a really outstanding 17-year-old boy then he would have no fears about playing him,' said MacDonald. 'Up here we are a small club and we get away with it. Someone like James McCarthy was 15 years and 200-odd days when he played for us.
'It is about giving them a chance and some will love it and can't get enough and others will shrink. In England it is tough. You might have a skilful lad but you send him to a club in League Two and the football is very direct.'