One of Aberdeen FC’s famous ‘Gothenburg Greats’ has claimed the proposed move to Kingsford could help create “the heroes of tomorrow.”

Speaking at a meeting of the Westhill for Kingsford and Kingswells Yes to Kingsford groups at Westhill’s Holiday Inn yesterday, Neil Simpson argued that increased training facilities at the site could be a huge boost for young Dons stars rising through the ranks.

Mr Simpson, who is head of the Aberdeen FC youth academy, insisted the proposed £50million stadium, training academy and heritage museum at Kingsford would create opportunities for the Dons to attract and foster new talent for the club’s future.

Speaking to a crowd of around 225 at the meeting, Mr Simpson said: “We’re trying to develop the best players from across the region who have the dream of playing for Aberdeen’s first team.

“We train three nights a week. Our competitors like Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all have excellent facilities which they can utilise to train for four nights a week, which is really what we should be aiming for.

“If we want to develop the best players of the region, then they need the best facilities to train, so we can help to create the heroes of tomorrow.”

Opponents of the Kingsford proposals have highlighted a number of concerns regarding the development, including environmental worries, the impact it would have on traffic and infrastructure, as well as the site being on greenbelt land.

But last night, Keith Sinclair, of the Kingswells Yes to Kingsford group, offered his belief that the majority of both Westhill and Kingswells communities are in favour of the new Dons stadium.

He said: “There are a lot of people around both of these communities who are in favour of these plans who feel they haven’t been well represented, which is why we’ve started these meetings.

“Over the years, we’ve seen so many young players leave the city to develop their careers and some of them have gained international recognition as a result.

“So we want to keep them here by being able to offer them the top quality facilities they deserve.”

Aberdeen city councillors will vote on the proposals on October 11.

Originally published and copyright Press and Journal – 18 September 2017