Former Arbroath ace Chris Hamilton has revealed he still feels the pain of the Lichties late collapse to Kilmarnock which ended their fairytale title bid.
The 20-year-old made a name for himself as a key part of Dick Campbell’s side last season during his season-long loan from Hearts.
The battling midfielder’s displays saw him earn a deal with boyhood club Dunfermline.
Hamilton could see himself in another title race with the Fife side as they aim to be crowned League One champions at the first time of asking.
While he is focused on The Pars own tilt with new boss James McPake, Hamilton admits he is still reeling from Killie’s comeback in April to lift the Championship trophy.
“It was really tough to take,” the young midfielder said.
“We tried to keep a lid on it for as long as we could and not let it get to us — not let the outside noise affect us.
“We did that well and, with such and experienced manager and experienced players, we kept it chilled.
“The closer we got, we had to face the fact we had a really good chance of doing it.
“The Kilmarnock game still hurts and will hurt for a bit — the fact we were so close.
“We can’t forget how far we came. It was amazing to see the club grow, off and on the pitch.
“To have okayed a small part in that is something I will look back on after my career is finished as a real good season.”
Gratitude to Arbroath
Although it wasn’t to be in the end for the Lichties, the experience was invaluable for Hamilton.
A number of standout performances under boss Campbell saw him win the club’s young player of the year award.
Hamilton credits the legendary gaffer for part of his success.
“I knew that last season was big for me because I would be moving on from Hearts,” he said.
“Without putting too much pressure on myself, I knew that, if I was going to get a good move the following summer, I would have to play at a decent level — and play most weeks.
“Luckily that happened and I can’t thank Arbroath enough.
“I’ve never met anyone like Dick, let alone played football under one.
“The players were given responsibility over how to manage a game and change matches. We were lucky that we had experienced players to do that.
“He was really good for me and I hope they can kick on this season and hopefully go one step further.”