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Dante Polvara | Hibernian Preview

March 17, 2022 4:58 pm Author: AFC Media Team
Dante Polvara | Hibernian Preview

Dante Polvara made his Dons debut last time out against Rangers and the midfielder was the man who spoke with the press this week to preview the game against Hibernian on Saturday.

“Making my debut was a great experience. It was the date that I was aiming for because I knew how long my recovery from my operation was going to take. I was happy to at least be included in the squad and even more surprised to get a glimpse of what it is like to be on the pitch. It is something for me to build on.

“I am now pushing to hopefully be involved at Pittodrie on Saturday.

“Even when the move was in the works I was in touch with Christian and he helped push the whole thing along. It is easy when you move across the ocean to feel lonely at times, and a bit out of place, especially when I cannot understand what some of the guys are saying! It has been really nice to have Chris right there so I can ask him to explain something or spend some time with him away from the training ground.

“I am settling in well.

“I am sure the boys feel the pressure of needing to get a result on Saturday. It is not something that is surfacing too much which is a good thing. From what I have seen we have been unlucky over the past few weeks, even months. Obviously you need to make your own luck but we have had two weeks of really good training. The new manager has had two weeks to really install his ideas moving into Saturday. Being at home on Saturday is an advantage, especially with our fans. It is a bit of a cup final in a way, as are the next three games. That is how we are treating it. All we can do is go into the game confidently and believe we can get the win.

“Everything is different in its own way. I was lucky enough in the MLS academy to be exposed to the first team where we had a lot of quality players and a manager like Patrick Viera. I knew at that time when I was 17 that I was not quite ready to go professional because it takes a bit of maturity and adaptation to really be ready to handle everything that is thrown at you. But I learned little bits and pieces that will help me. For example, after training the job is not done. You need to make sure your body is well rested and you take care of yourself by eating the right things. All those little habits are so important. I feel blessed to have been around that type of thing over the last couple of years in a number of different environments.

“At the same time it is very different in Scotland as it is to America. I am sure I would have transitioned a lot quicker if I had been in the US. But that is not really what I wanted. I think a bit of discomfort is a positive thing and will push you to be your best. You learn new things about yourself as a player and as a person off the field.

“What I wanted to do was get a fresh start and leave everything behind. In the US you carry your college career, good or bad, with you. I have the opportunity to enjoy my football and learn from so many new faces and really breath in the environment.

“For me I knew it would be difficult at first and I maybe did not quite understand just how difficult it would be. Two months in I am extremely happy to be here.

“I am learning new things every day. And new words!

“I knew quite a bit about Aberdeen and I used to watch a lot of European football. It is an easy badge to recognise! Then you start to learn about the impact of Sir Alex and I was also lucky enough to be in contact with Bobby Clark and that was so intriguing.

“I am still figuring out where I am in the squad. I still have some way to go before I feel like I am playing like myself. I do know that I can bring a winning culture. I have been extremely fortunate to have been on some extremely talented teams and I have not been used to losing much. Bringing that culture where anything but winning is unacceptable, that is something that should be valued in every player.

“That is why we are so disappointed at the moment. Everyone is desperate to win. If you could see training every day you would see how hard everyone is working in training to put things right.

“Whether I am on the pitch or not, there is always some sort of role you can play. I have been at the top end and the bottom of the hierarchy within a team. So I understand every prospective. I am starting again at the bottom and working my way up to being that leader who is well respected. But I can still make an impact to help push the team forward.

“We are suffering as a club. The fans are suffering. It takes a toll on the players. Unfortunately I have been sidelined for a lot of it so I have had to watch them. The players are hurting and it is showing in training, there is a bit of bite. A bit of hunger which is important. At the same time, we need to forget about it because we need to go into games with confidence. The manager has said if we get that one win we will get back on track and I truly believe that because I know how important confidence is. So we are doing our best to focus on Saturday.”