Date: 16th January 2007 at 12:12pm
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Darren Mackie is the first of Aberdeen`s ‘out of contract in the summer` players to agree a new deal which he will sign later this week. Mackie has been offered a new two year contract and he has made it clear to everyone that all he ever wanted to do was to stay at Pittodrie.

Darren has gone on to be Aberdeen`s top goal scorer this season with eight in the league and won himself a regular starting berth but his goals have dried up recently, a sign that he is missing the quality deliveries of Jamie Smith. Since Smith`s injury, Mackie often finds himself out on the wing in Jamie`s position, trying to get a cross in for his team mates but it was the brave Mackie who was causing trouble in the box and hopefully the goals will start flowing again once Jamie Smith is fit again.

Darren said of his new contract, ‘It’s great to get the new deal sorted out, especially after what happened earlier in the season. Turning down Dundee United was a gamble but my heart was at Aberdeen. I’ve been offered a two-year deal and I’ll definitely sign.

Everything is more or less sorted; it is just a matter of finalising the details and putting pen to paper this week”.

‘I love the club and support Aberdeen so it is great news.’

Dons boss Jimmy Calderwood said: ‘I’m glad Darren is staying. Ask any defender in the league and they’ll say he is a real handful. He’s fearless. And he’s a young player with more to come.’

Aberdeen director of football Willie Miller is delighted to have secured Mackie’s services beyond this season as he appreciates Darren`s love of the club and his desire to succeed.

Darren has a fantastic attitude to the game and has constantly said that he wants to stay at the club,’ Miller said.

We want players like him who really want to play for Aberdeen.

It has been well documented that he had the chance to go to Dundee United but he turned that down to stay here.

It is a huge boost that he is about to sign a new deal with us.’

With regards to the other players whose contracts expire soon, talks are taking place to get contracts signed and ward off any cheeky pre-contract bids.

Karim Touzani’s Dutch agent will travel to Scotland next month for talks, and the manager said: ‘I am confident Andrew Considine will also sign up. As for Gary Dempsey and Karim, we will have to wait and see.’

Whilst the news that these valued players appear happy at Aberdeen is good for the club, the injury list is still full of talent that Calderwood is desperate to get on the field. The loss of the creative Jamie Smith has been a reason no doubt for the lack of chances created and Craig Brewster`s absence against the impressive Hibs kids could be significant. With Zander Diamond out, defensive will be short if there are any more injuries or the rampant flu bug makes an unwelcome reappearance.

Jimmy spoke about his long term casualties,” I saw Craig on Monday, and, after being in a lot of pain on Saturday, he seems brighter. We are waiting for dates for Zander and Jamie to have their operations and we will then start work on getting them back as soon as possible.’