Young is far better than some fans think
IKNOW there will be at least one Dons fan rejoicing at the news midfielder Derek Young won’t be getting a new Pittodrie contract. He has been sending us e-mails on almost a daily basis slaughtering Young’s value to the Dons. I’ve chosen not to name the punter because some of his messages have been just downright rude. But his last wee note said the release of Young will at least ensure “four more season ticket renewals”. I’ve never understood why it is Young wasn’t a hit with some Dons fans. I must point out at this stage that the man himself and I don’t exactly exchange Christmas cards. Derek was a bit miffed when I had a pop at him and brother Darren for choosing to quit the Dons for Dunfermline in 2003. I warned it would all end in tears and that the duo may even have to come back to Pittodrie some day with their tails between their legs. No malice was intended. I just felt both Youngs were throwing away the chance to enjoy lengthy careers with Aberdeen. Sadly for Derek, things did go wrong and there was a stage when his career looked to be on a downward spiral. I was actually on a pre-season visit with the Dons to the pyramids in Cairo when then boss Jimmy Calderwood told me he had decided to take Derek back north. I was genuinely pleased for the 30-year-old Glaswegian. Derek has always been a good, honest, professional. Craig Brown summed Young up perfectly this week by saying: “He’s the best player I have ever had to let go.” A lot of Dons fans clearly have a different opinion of Derek’s ability as a player. He gets some terrible stick at times if things weren’t going well in games. I could never understand why. Okay, he’s no Wayne Rooney, but I never saw Derek shirk a tackle or short change the fans or any of his managers through a lack of effort. I’ve also admired the way Derek has openly helped and encouraged the club’s younger players, even when they have taken his place in the team. It’s a real shame that Brown has decided Derek’s second spell at Pittodrie is up. It would be nice if the more sensible Dons fans could find it in their hearts to give Derek a special show of appreciation in their remaining SPL matches. Derek deserves at least that for always doing the best he can every time he pulls on a red shirt.