On the 22nd January, Sam Woods departed Crystal Palace to join Hamilton on loan.
The Scottish Premiership side – who previously housed James McCarthy and James McArthur – have taken the 21-year-old on a deal until the end of the season.
While he may presumably have expected a quiet start to life in Scotland as he settles in, the youngster has instead endured a true baptism of fire in every sense of the word during the first 12 days of his stint at New Douglas Park.
Things got off to the perfect start for Woods, as he netted a goal on his debut against Livingston, although Hamilton couldn’t not earn a positive result after losing 4-2.
Following that defeat, the Crystal Palace academy man then faced a rough afternoon against arguably the best side in Scotland – Neil Lennon’s Celtic.
The Bhoys recorded a resounding 4-1 win over Brian Rice’s men, and while that might’ve been a kick in the teeth for Woods alone, he was quite literally physically assaulted by Leigh Griffiths during the game.
The Scotland international somehow only escaped with a yellow card after stamping on the 21-year-old’s chest while the score was 0-0, before a foul on the Celtic forward moments later ended with Jamie Hamilton being shown a straight red card – Odsonne Edouard netted the subsequent free-kick, although Griffiths shouldn’t have been on the pitch to win the set-piece according to Rice.
Three goals in 12 second-half minutes saw Christopher Jullien, Edouard and James Forrest net further strikes for the league leaders, inflicting a 4-1 defeat on Woods’ Hamilton which leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.
Aside from the two losses – which do not represent a great start for Woods anyway – 180 minutes of action for his new side have seen the on-loan Crystal Palace man score a goal, get stamped on, and also succumb to the brilliance of arguably the division’s best player in Edouard, a man who has notched 21 goals and 16 assists this season while catching the eye of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham.
It truly has been a baptism of fire for Woods at Hamilton, in every sense of the phrase.
In other news, a journalist from The Athletic has provided an honest update on Crystal Palace and Nathan Ferguson…