The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Andy’s dancing on air again


- By Graeme Croser

HANDED an unexpected call-up in time to help Scotland create history in Belgrade, Andy Considine dared to dream of a summer at the Euros. And having gifted the national team an unofficial anthem courtesy of his stag-in-drag performanc­e of Baccara’s Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, the 34-year-old Aberdeen defender could have been forgiven for believing the stars had aligned in his favour.

His hopes were shattered, however, in a lengthy phone call with national coach Steve Clarke, during which he explained the rationale behind omitting Considine from his 26-man tournament squad.

With admirable candour, the player admits the news hurt him. Just as laudable was his reaction, a committed approach to pre-season toil that paid off as he rose to head home Aberdeen’s opening goal of the season on Thursday night in the 5-1 Europa Conference League win over Swedish side Hacken.

As he celebrated in front of the noisy and jubilant Red Shed behind the goal, you could see the emotion pouring out of the defender.

‘I was disappoint­ed but I had a really good chat over the phone with Steve Clarke, where he explained his decision,’ said Considine.

‘I’ve been in football long enough and I’ve had many disappoint­ments. It’s just part of the game.

‘I had an unbelievab­le nine months during which I was involved in three Scotland camps and won three caps. I was lucky enough to be involved when we qualified for the Euros.

‘It’s something that makes me extremely happy, definitely in my top three career achievemen­ts.

‘So I was cheering the boys on in the summer from in front of the TV screen. It was great to see them involved in a major tournament.

‘Hearing the song was a little bitterswee­t because I wasn’t there. I’ll leave it at that.’

Given how solid he looked in his appearance­s against Slovakia (twice) and the Czech Republic, Considine needn’t necessaril­y believe his internatio­nal career is over. And his role in a powerful and exciting team performanc­e as the Dons thrashed Hacken suggests he has plenty left in the tank.

‘It was satisfying because I hadn’t scored a goal at home in Europe before,’ said the defender who made his Aberdeen debut back in 2004.

‘We work really hard on set-plays with our coach Allan Russell every day leading up to games. I felt we were due to score from one and it just happened to be me on Thursday night.’

After eight years under the management of Derek McInnes, the Dons have been in a transition­al phase under new boss Stephen Glass, who has promised a different style of football.

On first sight, the team seems ready to deliver. In midfield, captain Scott Brown produced a dominant performanc­e reminiscen­t of his best years at Celtic. And in attack, the new strike partnershi­p of Christian Ramirez and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas delivered a promising night’s work.

Although Ramirez delivered a debut strike, four of the team’s goals came from players inherited from the old regime.

‘The manager has completely different ideas,’ added Considine. ‘Whether it’s set-plays, phases of play — our training is completely different.

‘There are a lot of new faces and I feel like they’ve bedded in early doors. I thought Christian did really well up front, he stood out for me with his hold-up and link-up play, and Jet playing off him also helped.

‘We all know about Scott Brown. There’s still plenty of fire in the belly for him, which is huge for us.

‘He’s a great voice on the park and the whole team was getting it big time off him during the game in midweek. He’s a very tidy player, great on the ball, and he’s that rock in front that a centre-half needs.

‘It’s only the first performanc­e and, yes, it was encouragin­g. But we’ve still to go to Sweden for the second game and make sure the job gets done.’

 ??  ?? LOUD AND CHEER: Considine acclaims his goal against Hacken
LOUD AND CHEER: Considine acclaims his goal against Hacken

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