Alex Neil agrees new three-year deal with Hamilton

Hamilton captain Alex Neil
Neil looks likely to be playing in the Scottish First Division next season

Hamilton captain Alex Neil has signed a new three-year deal with the Scottish Premier League basement club.

The 29-year-old midfielder's current contract was due to expire this summer.

Neil, who says he is "over the moon", was persuaded to stay by manager Billy Reid, even though Accies could be in the First Division next season.

Reid said: "Alex signed for three years with the club yesterday, which is fantastic news. It is a big boost for me and the club."

The New Douglas Park side have missed Neil's talents for most of the season in the middle of the pitch while he has been recovering from a hip operation.

The Accies boss has frequently remarked how important Neil is to his side. At the end of last month he described the former Mansfield Town player as "a leader and he makes the team tick".

At Friday's announcement, the manager added: "He has been here six years and over the last couple of days we have been speaking to him about a new contract.

"There were other teams interested so I am delighted that our leader and captain is staying another three years.

"Without being disrespectful to any other player he has been my best signing."

Neil, who will miss Saturday's home game with Hibernian after his red card against St Mirren on Monday, said: "What excites me is playing alongside young kids.

"There is nothing better when you have a young player next to you who is keen to learn from you."

Hamilton gave their slim chances of SPL survival a boost with this week's 1-0 win over 11th-placed St Mirren, but they are six points behind the Buddies and have a poorer goal difference with only three games remaining.