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P&J: Young Dons may need 18 months before they are regulars


Kowalski
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Young Dons may need 18 months before they are regulars

 

By Paul Third

 

Published: 26/08/2009

 

Mark McGhee is delighted with the emerging young talent at Pittodrie, but the Aberdeen manager insists it may be 18 months before the youngsters can regularly force their way into the first-team squad.

 

Fraser Fyvie and Jonathan Crawford impressed in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Hamilton, while Michael Paton and Peter Pawlett have both featured for the club in the last six months.

 

McGhee expects more to follow in the footsteps of Richard Foster, Zander Diamond, Andy Considine, Chris Maguire and Darren Mackie in becoming first-team footballers, but warned it could take at least another season.

 

He said: “The quality of these young players is really good. They are not all ready to play and in 18 months they’ll look a lot different, even Fraser, who, in terms of a physique, is probably more man than most of them, even though he is the youngest. That’s why he can play.

 

“It is exciting, but we have to win a game on Saturday and all these youngsters aren’t going to win us that game. One of them in the team, or maybe two of them, might. But these are players for the future and my priority at the moment is more immediate. It is more to do with bringing in people with some sort of guarantee.â€

 

Fyvie, who became the youngest player to start for the first team in the club’s history at 16 years and four months, excelled at New Douglas Park, but McGhee is wary of putting too much pressure on the younger players despite their impressive starts.

 

He said: “I don’t think they’ll burn out after a few games, but you have to be careful. Fraser Fyvie would have played regardless of who was fit. I had made the decision.

 

“Jonathan Crawford was in because of injuries. Probably Gary McDonald would have played and Richard Foster would have gone to right back. So, he got his chance because of injuries.

 

“They both did well, but I have to analyse their performances on the basis of how they played, but also how the opposition were and take that into account when I’m thinking ahead to the following games.â€

 

Fyvie’s display seems certain to have earned him a second run against Motherwell on Saturday, but McGhee will demand the same standards from the younger members of the squad as he does from the first team.

 

He said: “Fyvie was getting stronger as the game went on. In fact, I thought the game ended too early for him. If it had gone on for a further 20 minutes he would have had a bigger impact.

 

“It’s encouraging for them and for the other youngsters who might be involved, albeit through necessity. The likes of Peter Pawlett would have played already had he been fit. Michael Paton has been a little bit unlucky. It was close on Saturday, but he has do more in training and he has to show me a bit more before I’ll put him in.â€

 

McGhee is aware supporter expectations are higher of players who have come through the club’s youth ranks and highlighted the experiences of one seasoned campaigner at Pittodrie.

 

The much maligned Mackie will never be a supporter favourite, but McGhee has faith in his forward.

 

He said: “Our best player in training – and whether it was because his wife gave birth last week and he got a lift from that – was Darren.

 

“I felt because it was away from home, because I’m aware of what the supporters feel about Darren and I’m trying to help him, the Hamilton game was a good opportunity. He had a terrific 40 minutes or however long he lasted which was a shame because he was doing well. I felt my decision to play him ahead of Paton or Maguire was justified.â€

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Richard Foster would have gone to right back

 

The much maligned Mackie will never be a supporter favourite, but McGhee has faith in his forward.

 

He said: “Our best player in training – and whether it was because his wife gave birth last week and he got a lift from that – was Darren.

 

“I felt because it was away from home, because I’m aware of what the supporters feel about Darren and I’m trying to help him, the Hamilton game was a good opportunity. He had a terrific 40 minutes or however long he lasted which was a shame because he was doing well. I felt my decision to play him ahead of Paton or Maguire was justified.â€

 

 

What??

 

But these players are a symbol of the malaise down Pittodrie way and every other person in the entire world can see they are not good enough for AFC,apart from JC (and that's only because they have pictures of Charlie Allen bumming him). Next McGhee will be revealing transfer targets to the press so others can nip in in front of us, telling us that Premiership youngsters and Championship players are on thousands of pounds more a week more than we can afford and bigging up the Old Firm...

 

:(;)

 

 

 

 

 

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