Young is far bet­ter than some fans think

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - SPORTS -

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.

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