Club captain Darian MacKinnon has spoken about the importance of his role within the Hamilton Academical u16s side as he’s had to settle for a place on the bench so far this season.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit to Livingston, MacKinnon said: “I take the u16s games it’s a huge stress relief, normally on a Sunday I would be sitting about the house but now I’m out and I’m coaching so that has been good.”

The Accies captain respects Brian Rice’s decision to start him on the bench this season. He said: “I’m still part of the squads, the only one I wasn’t part of was against St Mirren and the manager came and spoke to me, that is what the boss is here to do, he makes big decisions with the clubs best interest.

MacKinnon however, will not let his lack of game time affect his role as captain. He said: “The worst thing I could do is walk about with my face tripping me and being a bad influence, the gaffer obviously wouldn’t allow that, I’ll support the boys playing, I want to see this club do well.”

Darian praised the tough competition in his position as another reason for his absence from the starting line-up. He said: “Alex Gogic is in the position I want to be in but he’s been fantastic, I’ve known him for the last four or five years I want to see him do well, if he’s doing well the team will be doing well.”

The battling midfielder insists he’s not ready to hang the boots up just yet. He said: “I can still play, I’m feeling fit, still covering ground, the intensity is still there but when that goes you know it is time yourself.”

“The club has been fantatsic in paying for my coaching badges so that’s been great for me and my coaching development. Dougie Imrie went down a similar road to this last season and he’s doing well within his new role so I’m grateful the club still has me within their future interest.”