Date: 26th July 2007 at 9:20pm
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Probably the most surprising signing made by any SPL club this close season was that of Derek Young signing again for Aberdeen. It came from nowhere and fans are left puzzled as to why a player who wasn`t exactly outstanding during his previous employment at Pittodrie has been brought back even though injuries and form have forced him down the leagues to the extent that he was no longer under contract anywhere.

He had been binned by Dunfermline and Partick Thistle and hadn`t shone during a loan deal with Saint Johnstone which had left him only training with Hamilton Accies in the hope someone would rescue him before the season started.

Nothing was looking likely for Young, a man who had left Pittodrie for more money when he joined Calderwood`s Dunfermline, and he must have been considering a career change or dropping further down the leagues until the stunning phone call he took from Jimmy “The Samaritan” Calderwood.

Young left Aberdeen with his brother “to further his career” and it backfired badly. At the time is was seen as a further example of how far the Dons prestige and stature had fallen but the Red Army has seen how persuading Jimmy Calderwood can be in negotiations as he has consistently brought a better standard of player to the north since he was put in charge. Can Derek Young be another player to put in that bracket?

With glaring deficiencies in goal and defence, an attacking player who didn`t score many even in the SFL (5 in 31 for Thistle) or in his time with Aberdeen or Dunfermline was the last player fans would have been expecting if they had any hope that Jimmy would still have a transfer up his sleeve before the big kick off but those who know Derek seem convinced that he will do a job for us.

Ex-Don and Derek`s pal Phil Maguire told RedWeb, ‘The fans may not be too happy and I can understand they’re not over-excited at the arrival of a player who has just been released by Partick Thistle. But one thing Derek will give them is 100-per-cent effort and he’s a versatile player.

‘When I played with him at Aberdeen he was a striker who could always score you a goal and although he was never the most talented, he worked his socks off for the team.

‘I was stunned when I heard Derek was on his way back to Aberdeen and I’m sure he was just as surprised himself. I phoned him on Tuesday night and he was as high as a kite. He’s thrilled he’s been handed this chance”.

Calderwood gave his view on the bizarrest of all his signings for Aberdeen but will still struggle to convince even the biggest Young fans that he`s the man to take Aberdeen forward with these fairly standard comments which he said to the P&J, ‘He is an absolute gem, a great lad to work with, everybody at the club knows him and he is very popular,’

‘The fact we are able to bring someone of Derek’s quality with the budget restraints we have is very pleasing .He did really well for me at Dunfermline, but when we left he suffered a lot of niggling injuries”.

And so to Derek himself and what he promises to bring to a team that has progressed well beyond the standard he was familiar with and certainly one which is far superior to the Dunfermline he left to “further his career” at in 2003.

Young told the P&J ‘To be honest, I would have started walking up to Pittodrie as soon as I got off the phone to sign if Jimmy had asked me.

‘I had spoken to Maurice Malpas at Motherwell about going to Fir Park in the summer, but he left and my move there was up in the air.

‘I have been doing pre-season training with Hamilton in the hope of winning a contract there and then Jimmy phoned me out of the blue.

It’s been fairytale stuff for me and I’m still taking it all in. It will take me a couple of weeks to get my fitness up as I have not played at all during pre-season.

‘I start on Monday when the players come back from Egypt. I know Jimmy was looking for another attacking player, but there are a hell of a lot of good players at the club right now and I am know I am not going to Aberdeen to be a starter.

‘The manager has said it is up to me to force my way into his plans and I can promise I will be doing everything I can to get into the first 11.’

So he is delighted but what about you the fan who will pay his wages?

Are you happy to have him back or can you not forgive him for walking out when the Dons needed all their top players back during the dark Ebbe days.

Certainly their will be no danger of him ever winning our last poll which asked “which of the new signings are you most excited at seeing play next season?”, a poll that was convincingly won by Jeffrey De Visscher with 47%.

So please take our next survey which predictably asks “Are You Happy To Have Derek Young Back?”