May 8 2008 By Andy McGilvray
BILLY Reid believes Hamilton are in safe hands after signing goalkeeper Sean Murdoch from Dunfermline on a two-year deal.
Reid moved swiftly to snap up the 21-year-old after Bryn Halliwell rejected a contract extension, and the Englishman has since left the club.
Murdoch, who was back-up to Paul Gallacher at East End Park, signed on Monday after Accies paid a “nominal” fee to release him from the final year of his Pars contract.
Murdoch is the third summer signing, joining striker Derek Lyle and winger Mark Corcoran, as Reid rebuilds for next season.
Sean is no stranger to Accies fans, having played for the club on loan during season 2006/07, and he will compete with Czech international Tomas Cerny to be first choice.
Reid said: “We had offered a deal to Bryn, he didn’t take it, so I told him and his agent that it was then up to us to look for somebody else.
“Sean’s name came up, I have worked with him before and we decided to sign him on a two-year deal, which we’re happy with.
“Sean did well for us before going back to Dunfermline, but they signed Paul Gallacher and gave him big money, so Sean was never going to get a chance there.
“We know what he brings, and once again we have two young goalkeepers in him and Tomas Cerny, and they will fight for the number one spot in the Premier League.”
Reid added: “I have to say that Bryn Halliwell was great for us.
“We took him from St Johnstone and he played a major part in us getting to the Premier League; he has got to be commended for that.
“Bryn didn’t do anything wrong but I had been watching Tomas in the reserves around February. He was exceptional and needed his chance.
“I gave him that and he grasped it with both hands and was outstanding for the rest of the season.”
Murdoch commented: “As soon as I knew Billy was interested I just couldn’t wait to get here, to be honest.
“I wasn’t getting a chance at Dunfermline but to be fair, (manager) Jim McIntyre was always honest with me and told me I wasn’t part of his plans for next season.
“So this is a fresh challenge. We’ll see how it goes and hopefully we’ll get a good pre-season.”
He added: “I was here a couple of seasons ago and it’s good to see some old faces, while meeting new ones.
“The boys last season did an excellent job in getting to the SPL; that’s a real bonus and hopefully I can help them next season.
"We’re going to be playing against some great players, going to places like Parkhead and Ibrox and that’s something to look forward to.”
Reid also reiterated his aim to keep hold of his title-winning squad. He said: “We’re now a football club in the Premier League that people want to come to.
"I’ve spoken to one or two players about new deals but we’re not in a hurry, because they’re all tied up anyway.
“We’ll sit down and speak to them, and I’m more than hopeful most of them will sign for another year.”