Date: 27th March 2007 at 11:46am
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Jimmy Calderwood has insisted that Gary Dempsey`s decision to join Yeovil Town is purely a football one as whilst a two year contract was offered, guaranteed first team action was not.

Dempsey has played the majority of Aberdeen matches this season but that has been more to do with injuries and him being so versatile that he`s able to cover but Dempsey has been unable to make a position his own since joining Aberdeen two years ago.

Jimmy has already publicly stated that he really wanted the ex-Everton, Bray Wanderers, Waterford United and Dunfermline Athletic player to stay but he understands the reasons that have made up the 26 year olds mind.

‘It is not a financial decision. With Gary it was always going to be about playing games.

‘With Gary and Scott Severin playing together in midfield it can cause problems, not in terms of ability but in terms of pace.

‘Because of that Barry Nicholson and Chris Clark, if they are fit, are likely to get in ahead of Gary. In certain games, when we need a football brain in there, he will play and Gary knows that.

‘We have such a good football relationship and I told him exactly how things stood. I would have hated anything to spoil the relationship he has with Jimmy Nicholl and I. The contract was there for him, but my biggest worry was how it would be for him if he wasn’t playing.

‘That was what he had to go away and think about.

‘I told him he couldn’t expect to play every week but I did not want him to fear that.

‘He has gone on runs where he has been our best player for four or five weeks in a row and on that form he is difficult to ignore – but ultimately the game is all about pace.’

Calderwood then talked about the void he believes will be left once Dempsey finally departs for Huish Park and possibly the Championship if their promotion campaign is successful.

Calderwood added: ‘Gary will be a big loss for us because he is a big character around the place.

‘We don’t have a similar player on the books waiting to take his place because Gary has such a good football brain and sees things other players don’t.

‘He was probably our best player at Ibrox the other weekend. He tried to get the ball down and create things.

‘It is a blow to lose him as a player and as a person. He’s always lively around the ground, is never down and a great lad to have in the squad. He’s also a great trainer and I genuinely wish him well for the future.’

Calderwood knows that he can still call on Gary if needed this season but Jimmy will obviously be playing for life without his utility man.

‘If I need him he will play, but if we reach our goal before the end of the season that could change. Even then, it might be nice to give him a chance to say farewell to the supporters.’

Join the Dempsey debate on whether you think he`ll be as big a miss to Aberdeen as Jimmy obviously does by clicking on our Forum.