Date: 27th February 2007 at 10:41am
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Falling attendances despite an exciting season means that Jimmy Calderwood will again be trawling the bargain basements for new recruits and is even casting a jelous eye on the Irish league and the situation Friday night`s opponents Bohemians have themselves in. The Irish league is ranked 35th in Europe, 25 places below the SPL but yet it appears their league is in a healthy state financially.

Aberdeen look certain to have lost out on Gary Dempsey as he moves to Yeovil Town. The Dons have lost out on players Jimmy wanted before over not being able to agree terms. Steven Hammell snubbed the club to join Southend United and this season Alan Gow his chosen Rangers ahead of the Dons as they were able to put together a more lucrative package.

Jimmy is staring to show his anger and disappointment that he cannot bring the players in that he thinks will take the club on further or put his finger on why the crowds are still deserting his challenging side.

Calderwood said: ‘We played Bohemians in Dublin on Friday night and they are in a much stronger position financially than Dons with their ground, Dalymount Park, set to be sold for £40million. I know Bohemians can afford transfer fees but I couldn’t buy an Irish player if his club asked for money.

It’s frustrating but that’s the reality of our situation.

The Eircom League has proved to be a good market for me in the past and it’s one I have always monitored but times have changed.

I don’t even know if we can match Yeovil’s offer to Gary but they’ve come up with a decent length of contract and it’s understandable if he accepts.

It’s fact of life we can’t compete with many English clubs when it comes to financial packages nowadays.

We had organised things financially around attracting more people to Pittodrie than have been turning up.

We have ideas about what we want to do in the summer and the positions that we want to strengthen but it all comes back to what the bank says.’

Jimmy has stated that he knows Aberdeen`s future lies in youth development where the Dons have invested heavily. The emergence of Andrew Considine as a first team pick this season and the progress made by Chris Maguire in his regular subs appearances show that great work is being done behind the scenes.

Jimmy wants one player to be breaking through the ranks each term and after Michael Paton, he fears that there is nobody at the next stage for him to be looking at promoting but is obviously aware that players develop and mature at differing rates.

Home produced players is and most likely always will be the majority of the squad and the great successes of yesteryear were built on this foundation although there were some tremendous key players brought in from other clubs. The backbone of the successful Dons teams was predominantly made of players who came through the youth ranks so it was reassuring to note that of the nine players on recent Scotland duty, most had been developed by the club.

Although Jimmy can look at the clubs history and note that success is maybe still possible with little or no money, realistically he has a mighty job on his hands if players would rather be travelling to England to play in League One rather than fighting for their place in a team striving for Champions League qualification.

I wonder if many footballers do still chase honours in the game anymore or if the only trophy left now is a big bank account.