Played for Dundee and Hamilton – Chris Casement

As Dundee travel to the Hope CPD Stadium on Saturday to take on Hamilton Academical in the Ladbrokes Premiership, we take a look at an international player who played for both clubs, Chris Casement.

Casement was born in Belfast in January 1988 and attended Newtownbreda High School in south Belfast where his football potential was spotted. He was offered a contract with Ipswich Town and after coming through the youth ranks, where he had won the 2004/05 FA Youth Cup made his senior debut in March 2006, in a 2-2 Championship draw at home to Crystal Palace.

Casement played in the remaining four games of the season but the following season played in just four games in the League and FA Cups. After accomplished displays in the FA Cup, most notably against Swansea City and Watford in January 2007, Casement moved out on loan to Millwall for three months but failed to make an appearance at the New Den.

In the summer, he returned to Portman Road and played twice in the Carling Cup against Orient and Colchester in August but at the end of the month went on loan to Hamilton Academical for six months.

Casement was thrown in at the deep end as he made his debut in a League Cup Lanarkshire derby away at Motherwell and it was a night to remember as The Accies triumphed 2-1 after extra time despite Simon Mensing being sent off.

Three weeks later Chris made his SPL debut when he came off the bench at half time in a 2-1 home defeat to St Mirren and that would turn out to be Casement’s last action for Hamilton.

In January, he returned to Ipswich who immediately loaned him out again to Wycombe Wanderers where he made 12 appearances in League Two before the end of the season.

Getting regular first team football brought him to the attention of Northern Ireland international manager Nigel Worthington. Casement was already well established in the Northern Irish set up with three Under-17 caps, 10 Under-19 caps and 18 Under-21 caps (in which he scored twice) and one B international cap and was called up for an end of season friendly against Italy on June 6th.

Chris made his international debut, along with seven other debutants, in the 3–0 defeat at the Arena Garibaldi in Pisa and played the full match. It was this game that brought him to the attention of Dundee manager Jocky Scott who after watching a video of the game, offered Casement a three-year deal.

With new investment coming into Dens from Aberdeen businessman Callum Melville, Scott was able to reshape his squad in the summer of 2009 in the hope of achieving promotion back to the top flight at the fifth time of asking. Casement was joined at Dens Park by the likes of Leigh Griffiths, Gary Harkins and Colin Cameron and he made his debut as a second half substitute (for skipper Eric Paton) in the first game of the season against Stranraer in the League Cup.

A 5-0 win meant a home tie with Forfar in the next round and Casement made his first start at Dens in the 4-2 win thanks to goal from Griffths, Antonie-Curier and an own goal for Andy Tod.

The previous week Casement had made his first start for Dundee in a 3-0 win at Cowdenbeath in the ALBA Cup with the goals coming from Griffiths, Harkins and Antoine-Curier.

Casement missed the quarter-final away at Stirling when he was playing in the Northern Irish Under 21s’ 6-2 defeat to Iceland but he came off the bench after just nine minutes in the semi-final against Annan Athletic at Dens.

However he failed to make the squad for the Final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in November but had made it for the next two League Cup ties against Aberdeen and Rangers, albeit as an unused sub.

In the First Division Casement had been on the bench eight times before he finally came on after 86 minutes to make his league debut in a 2-0 win at Partick.

Despite this Casement was dropped for the next three games but returned to the bench in January for matches against Airdrie, Dunfermline and Queen of the South.

He finally came on again as a half time substitute in a fourth round Scottish Cup tie at Livingston but the 1-0 win would be last action he would see in a dark blue shirt. On January 31st, Casement returned across the Irish Sea for a three months loan deal with Linfield and made his debut at home to Coleraine on February 16th.

On May 4th 2010, Casement was informed along with three other players that he was no longer wanted by Dundee and was free to look for another club and his eight appearances in the Danske Premiership were enough to earn him a two-year deal at Windsor Park.

Casement would win the IFA Premiership title with Linfield in both 2011 and 2012 as well as the Irish Cup in his final game and after over 50 appearances for The Blues, joined Portadown on a three-year deal in May.

Chris would enjoy four years at Shamrock Park where he played 153 times, scoring 17 times and in July 2016 returned to Linfield for a £20,000 fee.

He made his first appearance in his second spell in a 2-1 win away to Ballinamallard on August 6th and played his 100th Linfield game in 3-1 win at Solitude in April 2017 to clinch the league title.

Casement agreed 2-year contract extension in February 2018 and on New Year’s Day 2019 made his 150th appearance in a 2-0 win over Ards.