Hamilton's Brian Rice wants star to watch Ryan Christie's Celtic videos

By David Walton

September 17, 2019

Hamilton manager Brian Rice has told his young hotshot Lewis Smith to watch videos of Celtic star Ryan Christie.

Smith is seen as one of the next big breakout talents from the Accies academy. He featured against Celtic on Saturday and showed good ball-control to get Accies up the pitch from time to time.

Smith has played all five of Hamilton’s games this season, and was certainly one of the most eye-catching on Saturday. However, his performance was overshadowed by fellow midfielder Alex Gogic.

Brian Rice values Lewis Smith highly (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

And Rice has told the Scottish Sun that it’s Celtic hero Christie that should provide Smith with his lessons from now on.

“Right now Lewis is where Ryan is when he was at Inverness. Ryan’s very similar to young Lewis and I’ve told Lewis to look at his clips, how he receives the ball, everything he does.

“He’s a joy to work with but it is down to him. I can give him the platform but he has to perform on it. I thought he did very well (vs Celtic).”

Ryan Christie’s development has been a joy to watch

Smith is clearly the next big up-and-comer at the Fountain of Youth stadium, but he has a long way to go before he can rival what Christie has produced at Celtic.

Watching Christie’s rise from obscure young talent to key first-team star has been a joy to watch. This season, he’s played in all 14 of Celtic’s competitive fixtures so far. But last season, in his breakout campaign at Parkhead, he accumulated 38 appearances, scoring 11 goals and bagging nine assists.

Ryan Christie can teach the youngsters in Scotland so much (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

There was a time when he joined Aberdeen for a second loan spell that things looked bleak for him here. Celtic were dominating everything in sight under Brendan Rodgers. The likes of Stuart Armstrong, Callum McGregor, Olivier Ntcham, and Scott Brown were bossing the midfield places. Tom Rogic, meanwhile, was the clear first-choice number 10.

But Christie’s persistence and ability to take his big chance earned him a more consistent place in the team. Since Rodgers’ departure and Neil Lennon’s arrival, that hasn’t changed. If anything, Lenny has put even more faith in Christie.

Christie’s loan spells were the making of him (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Smith can take plenty from Christie’s videos and story itself. After all, he’s already getting regular first-team exposure at Hamilton – that’s something Christie didn’t have in his early days at Celtic.

But if the Accies man is looking for someone to take inspiration from, he can’t go wrong with Ryan.