Dons legend and head of AFC’s Youth Academy, Neil Simpson has put forward the case for the new Aberdeen FC stadium proposals at Kingsford to improve the training regime at the club for future success.

Neil said: “I think we have done really well over the years delivering a quality programme that has seen players playing for AFC and other first teams up and down the country but if we can have a look into the future and see what can be really achieved if we moved into a state of the art training facility at Kingsford, a facility that we can be proud, call our own and where we can really make a difference.”

“We are currently really restricted because we have limited time slots at the various training venues across the city.

  1. currently training on 1/3 and 1/4 size pitches.  All our squads will train on areas which represent the size of pitch they play on, on a Saturday and Sunday’
  2. We can host international tournaments;
  3. Currently 90 minute sessions three times per week.  Increase the coaching time we have with the players at each session or additional days’
  4. Additional specialist work with parts of the team such as defenders, midfielders and strikers;
  5. More opportunities for players to practice individual weaknesses;
  6. More specific practice at set pieces;
  7. Elite holiday coaching camps for every Youth Academy age group;
  8. The opportunity to organise regular additional midweek matches against local boys clubs and select squads so all our players are getting maximum game time;
  9. Regular detection and scouting days at all levels;
  10. More coach education and personal development opportunities for our coaches to enhance their learning;
  11. Pre-academy football festivals to allow us to identify the best players at each age group;

“If we get this facility the future holds exciting times ahead and will take our Youth Academy to another level.”

Neil continues: “When you read the next chapter you will understand how much Aberdeen FC need these facilities now.

“For our match programme we currently utilise Balgownie playing fields and the environment at this facility is really good but I could write a book on the multitude of distractions we had to contend with over the years.”

“We turned up for a match one Sunday and someone had super-glued the padlock on the cabin with all the goals and we had to call the fire brigade to cut them open.”

“On another match day no one told us about a cross country event, 100s of runners were participating running across one of our pitches an our before kick-off.:

“We regularly have to chase golfers, people flying model aircraft, kites and dog walkers walking across the pitches.”

“People on motorbikes have also been seen riding across the field.”

“A few years ago five sets of 7-a-side goals were stolen on another occasion, travellers camped on-site and we had to cancel the whole weekend of fixtures.”

“And only last weekend, three youngsters pitched their tent in the u17s penalty box and were awakened by Andrew who sets up the goals and match facilities.”