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Gary McDonald Q&A


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Big Mac hungry to succeed at Dons

‘But I’m not the new Barry’

 

NEW Don Gary McDonald today blasted claims he’s the new Barry Nicholson.

 

The midfielder, who became Jimmy Calderwood’s first summer signing on a pre-contract from Oldham, is out to make a name for himself at Pittodrie next season.

 

Former Kilmarnock striker Paul Wright has hailed McDonald, his ex-Rugby Park team-mate, as the ideal candidate to shore up the gap vacated by Nicholson who will now move down south.

 

The 26-year-old aims to prove his worth in the SPL for a second time and returns north a better player following a sharp learning spell at Boundary Park.

 

McDonald also revealed he’s glad he’ll be walking out on to the Pittodrie turf in a red jersey.

 

By Andrew Moir

 

Published: 31/05/2008

 

Q You have been tipped as a replacement for Barry Nicholson, is that a fair comparison?

 

A I’m not moving up to Pittodrie to replace anyone.

 

Jimmy Calderwood has signed me as a midfield player but I’m not going there to take over from Barry or any other player.

 

I’m totally different to Barry and I’m not joining Aberdeen to take his place.

 

Barry Nicholson is a very good player who I’m sure will go on to do very well in England. But I want to make my mark as my own player and don’t think it’s right I’m tagged as a replacement for someone else.

 

I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in my career and pulling on an Aberdeen jersey.

 

There’s no doubt in my mind that a central midfield role is my best position, but if the manager wants to play me on the left or right then I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

 

It’s about doing what is best for the team.

 

Q You had other options when you decided to leave Oldham, so why did you choose to sign for Aberdeen?

 

A As soon as I talked to Jimmy Calderwood on the phone I knew where I was going.

 

Oldham wanted to keep me, while there was interest from other clubs in England which was very flattering. But I know from my time in Scotland just how big a club Aberdeen is.

 

The manager sold me the club, although I didn’t have any hesitation at all before making my decision.

 

I didn’t take much persuading, and I’m hoping to help the club taste success.

 

They also finished the season very strongly which is a great way to prepare for the new campaign.

 

Winning three of your last five games is good form which helped them claim fourth place.

 

Beating Rangers was also a great way to sign off as it was still a very important match for Aberdeen.

 

Q Have you improved after two years in England with Oldham?

 

A I’m definitely returning to Scotland a better player. My old manager at Oldham John Sheridan was a class midfielder during his playing days.

 

In fact, he was one of the best and played at the very highest level, so it was easy to learn from him. He’s passed on some vital tips to me and his advice has helped me make progress in recent seasons.

 

I’m excited about returning to the SPL after a few years away. I feel I’ll be better equipped for the challenges that lie ahead when I move back north.

 

I’ve also got experience of playing in the SPL, so I know what to expect coming back to Scotland.

 

Q What are your memories of playing at Pittodrie?

 

A I remember it as a very tough place to go as an opposing player. That’s why I’m pleased I’ll be on the home side very soon.

 

It’ll be great to be backed by a fantastic set of supporters as they create such a good atmosphere.

 

I played at Pittodrie a few times for Kilmarnock and I’m relishing the chance to go back there as an Aberdeen player.

 

I also visited Pittodrie again just before signing on and I can’t wait to play there again.

 

Q You know a few of the Dons players from your Scotland days, do you think your transfer will help your international prospects?

 

A I have played alongside Zander Diamond and Lee Miller in the Scotland ranks. scored for the Future team against Poland at Rugby Park and Lee scored the other in a 2-0 win.

 

It would be great if signing for Aberdeen helped my international chances although there are lots of good midfielder players out there.

 

It should be easy enough for me to settle into life at Pittodrie as I’ve played against the majority of the first team squad.

 

That sort of thing will make life a little easier when I report for the first day of pre-season training.

 

When I joined Oldham I didn’t know any of the players but quickly fitted in. But this is a new start for me and it’s one I'll make the most of, and playing with one of the biggest clubs in the country might well help my international chances.

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He reckons signing for us will help his scotland chances, he is wrong, very very wrong unless he scores 15 goals from midfield, breaks Fergusons leg and pays Burley.

 

Also i thought he was a box to box player, therefore would replace Nicholson even if he has been told otherwise from Calderwood.

 

Wish him all the best and hope he does go in to the Scotland team after a storming season.

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He reckons signing for us will help his scotland chances, he is wrong, very very wrong unless he scores 15 goals from midfield, breaks Fergusons leg and pays Burley.

 

Also i thought he was a box to box player, therefore would replace Nicholson even if he has been told otherwise from Calderwood.

 

Wish him all the best and hope he does go in to the Scotland team after a storming season.

 

A mate of mine today said that Nicholson might be staying now... something that was in the P&J today? Can't see it posted anywhere else so not sure how true it is.

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A mate of mine today said that Nicholson might be staying now... something that was in the P&J today? Can't see it posted anywhere else so not sure how true it is.

Ahh yes, seen that, it was posted on Afc-chat.

 

Here's what it said.

 

Nicholson is in talks with Preston North End and Norwich City having set his sights on a move to England. If those negotiations do not tempt him south, seeking a new deal at Pittodrie is among Nicholson’s preferred options.
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A mate of mine today said that Nicholson might be staying now... something that was in the P&J today? Can't see it posted anywhere else so not sure how true it is.

 

Saw a c&p on the bbc website.

 

Don't expect him to stay at all though if his current negotiations don't work out, staying is AMONG his preferred options, wonder what the others are?

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Don't expect him to stay at all though if his current negotiations don't work out, staying is AMONG his preferred options, wonder what the others are?

Back to where it all began i would imagine, i knew they were sniffing around is noone of their targets are met and with Hemdani and possibly Davis leaving i can see a wee gap for Barry to slot in to.
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