Last season’s Development Player of the Year winner Michael Ruth picked up his award at Pittodrie recently.
Selected by manager Derek McInnes and coach Paul Sheerin, the prize is given to the player who makes the biggest contribution to the Development Team over the course of the season.
There was a lot of interest in Michael but he chose to come North and signed for the Dons last summer from the Queen’s Park, having already played and scored for their first team.
In his first season at Pittodrie the forward impressed and got stronger as the campaign well went on.
At Reserve level Michael helped Paul Sheerin’s side get to the Reserve Cup Final and he also helped the U18s reach the SFA Youth Cup Final, scoring both goals that defeated Rangers in the semi-final.
In all games he scored 17 goals, a great return as he did not always play as an out and out striker.
Michael spoke to the Red Matchday Programme Editor:
“Last season it did take a wee while to settle in, moving away from home.
“But everyone was great with me and made we very welcome.
“Once I got to know the boys, I started to enjoy it more and as the season went on I started to do a bit better. Initially, doing the full time training every day, I had not done this before, so it would take my legs a while to recover.
“But once my body adjusted, I started to play a lot better.
“I was happy with my goal return. I played out wide for most of the reserve games and sometimes for the 18s I was playing behind a striker. I like playing up front but I do not really mind where I play.
“I thought pre-season training would be easier this year as last year was my first as a professional. But it is not really!
“This year has been tough. After such a long break, and even although I completed all the runs we were given, you can already feel the difference, I am already feeling a lot fitter so you have to get your head down and do the work.
“It has been great to be in with the first team. It is a very good standard, so you have to up your game.
“The biggest difference is that training is a lot sharper and at a faster tempo. It is not too daunting as you get used to it.
“At the end of the day you have to think of it this way, you are just playing football, so you just have to concentrate on your own game and do your best each day.”
To watch the interview in full please click on the red button.