Swift return to SPL action the perfect tonic for Dr Goals

KENNY Deuchar has returned to the Scottish Premier League with Hamilton Accies after less than a year in America. The 28-year-old former Gretna striker has signed a short-term deal with Billy Reid's side after securing an early release from Real Salt Lake, the club he joined in February last year.

Deuchar, who married fiancee Silvy in Airth nine days ago, has decided to end his American adventure one year early. He signed a two-year deal with MLS Western Conference side Real Salt Lake after claiming two goals in his last appearance for Gretna against Rangers at Ibrox. He scored three goals in 29 first team games for Real Salt Lake but his appearances were restricted in recent months in Utah. These are not the statistics expected from a man known as Dr Goals, and whose time with Gretna saw him score 72 times in 95 appearances.

An earlier spell with East Fife was almost as productive, with the striker scoring 31 goals in 66 games as he balanced his medical career – Deuchar qualified as a doctor from Dundee University – with his football commitments. He has also expanded his interests into the restaurant business.

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Rumours of his return to Scottish football have grown since he appeared for Morton in a closed-door game against Rangers earlier this month. However, Deuchar had his sights set on the SPL, where he played only 15 times for Gretna last season.

Hamilton and the Scottish Football Association now await the necessary international clearance and documentation from the US Soccer Federation. Deuchar could make his debut for Hamilton in Sunday's SPL clash at Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

"We've signed Kenny until the end of the season. It's a deal we've worked on for the last few weeks and he's now signed the paperwork, so we're delighted," said Reid.

"International clearance should come through this week and we'll get him in the squad for Sunday.

"I've always liked Kenny as a player and always thought he could do a great job at this club. He'll give us another option up front. Almost every team in the SPL has a target man, there's Michael Higdon at Falkirk, Lee Miller at Aberdeen, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Georgios Samaras at Celtic, Colin Nish at Hibs.

"We've got Richard Offiong and, although he's six foot tall he's not really a target man, he prefers to play in a different way. We needed somebody to do that job for us and I'm delighted we've got Kenny."

Deuchar has not had much time to enjoy a honeymoon. Before finalising his move to Hamilton he was an interested spectator on Saturday, when Gretna FC 2008, the club formed out of the ashes of Gretna FC, won the first trophy of their nascent life.

He took a seat at Gala Fairydean's Netherdale ground and watched Gretna, who play in the East of Scotland league, defeat Tynecastle in the final of the Alex Jack cup.

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"The supporters gave me a great welcome when I arrived at the ground and that made me feel very humble," said Deuchar, whose time at Gretna ended after loan spells with Northampton Town and St Johnstone. "They were certainly as excited as they were at Hampden when we reached the Scottish Cup final.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my experience over in America, but I've decided to come home. I've been keeping myself fit in the MLS close season. I'm looking forward to playing in the SPL again."