Greats' £100k Youth Gift

ABERDEEN'S Youth Academy is has received a £100,000 cash boost — thanks to the generosity of the most famous group of players in the club's history.

The 'Gothenburg Greats', in conjunction with the squad's testimonial committee, have decided they wish to play a part in shaping the Club's future.

The group of former players celebrated the 25th anniversary of the European Cup Winner's Cup victory last year with a series of commemorative high profile events, topped by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson bringing Manchester United to Pittodrie.

And the legends have now insisted that a substantial amount of the money raised during that time goes towards the future of the club.

Captain of the Gothenburg side and current AFC Director of Football Willie Miller said: "When we enjoyed so much success in the '80s, it was with a squad that was, in the main, a product of the Pittodrie youth development system.

"We have to refocus our efforts into the area of youth development. In many ways, we have almost come full circle and there is a realisation and an acceptance that nurturing your own talent is the only viable way for the future for a club such as Aberdeen.

"Consequently, the group is delighted to make this substantial donation which will hopefully assist in producing the next batch of players who can create their own bit of history for the Club."

Miller is convinced that the changes to the failing Pittodrie youth development system he initiated five years ago are taking shape, and that this is the only way for Aberdeen to operate going forward.

He said: "Already we have seen the likes of Chris Maguire, Peter Pawlett, Michael Paton and Mitch Megginson making their first team debuts in recent times while there are others who look set to follow suit in the near future.

"It is vital we maintain that conveyor belt type of approach and with centres throughout Scotland, a youth scouting system that encompasses beyond this country, including both sides of the border, the Faroe Islands and Ireland, and squads from the age of nine upwards, the investment in youth development by Aberdeen Football Club although substantial, is a necessary one."

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