Goalkeeper- Ryan Esson:
Esson was on Aberdeen`s books for 9 years. Signing his first contract in 1997 and making his debut in 2000. He played a couple of seasons as number 1 but was dislodged by David Preece and left in 2006, which coincided with Jamie Langfield`s arrival at the club. Esson moved to Shrewsbury Town and played their first six games of the 2006-2007 season before being dropped. He never played for them again. Having spent a year with Harrogate, Esson returned to Scotland with Inverness.
Right Back – Jamie McAllister
Ok McAllister probably shouldn`t count seen as he actually left after 117 appearances in 2003 and moved to Livingston. He then spent two years as back up at Hearts before moving South to Bristol City. The move has proved a very successful one for the Bellshill born full-back who helped Bristol City earn promotion to the Championship in his first season before playing a solid role in City`s promotion challenge last year. He was recently called up to Burley`s Scotland squad to face Holland.
Centre Back – Russell Anderson
Probably Aberdeen`s best player of the decade. Anderson became indispensable, captaining the club and racking up over 300 appearances in 10 years. Few would argue that Anderson has not yet been replaced since his £1m move to Roy Keane`s Sunderland. This move however did not go well for Anderson who was plagued with injuries and fell well out of favour at the Stadium of light. He then spent a season with Plymouth and this season is at Burnley but is still having problems with injury.
Centre Back- Michael Hart
Hart left Aberdeen for Preston mid way through the last campaign for a fee of 100k, having established himself as a reliable defender and even having captained the team on a couple of occasions. Much like Anderson the versatile defender has been struggling with injuries but has impressed when fit for the Preston first team.
Left Back – Kevin McNaughton
Having come through the Youth ranks McNaughton established himself in the Aberdeen first team and became one of the best full backs in the country. In 2006 he left Aberdeen for free, with his contract expired. He moved to Cardiff where he has continued to impress, notably playing all 6 games of Cardiff`s run to the final of the FA cup last season. Perhaps is worthy of adding to his few Scotland caps, as surely he is better than the likes of Alexander and Broadfoot.
Right Midfield – Barry Nicholson
One of Jimmy Calderwood`s best signings for Aberdeen. Calderwood paid 250k for the ex- Dunfermline midfielder who went on to become a solid first team regular, and well regarded by the fans. At the end of last season Nicholson left for Preston upon the expiry of his contract. This season he has established himself in Preston`s first team.
Centre Midfield – Markus Heikkinen
The Finnish international was excellent during his two years in Scotland, gaining admiration amongst the supporters as a hard tackling centre midfielder. He moved, again for free due to the expiry of his contract, to Luton Town in 2005. He has since moved on to Austria where he now plays for Rapid Wien.
Centre Midfield – Josh Walker
The Englishman only spent a year at Aberdeen (a loan from Middlesbrough) but will be remembered as a decent player and for his goal against German giants Bayern Munich, at Pittodrie. He returned to Middlesbrough after his year at Pittodrie and is now on the verge of breaking into the first team. Has also captained England at under 16 and 17 level.
Centre Midfield – Gary Dempsey
Joined Aberdeen as an amateur in 2005 after quoting:
“I`d rather be on the dole than play for Dunfermline”
Dempsey was never a massive hit at Pittodrie but was slightly better than many gave him credit for. The Irishman left in 2007 and signed for Yeovil Town after an unsuccessful trial with Doncaster. He has since returned to Ireland where he plays with St. Patrick`s Athletic.
Left Midfield – Chris Clark
Elgin-born Clark established himself in the first team after coming through the youth ranks at Pittodrie. The energetic midfielder improved throughout his Pittodrie career and his form in the end earned him a £200k move to Plymouth in January 2008. Since then he has been a regular in the Plymouth first 11. Clark played all but one game of the 2006-2007 season, when Aberdeen finished third to qualify for the UEFA Cup.
Striker- Noel Whelan
Yes, I was struggling to find a striker who fitted the criteria, hence the 4-5-1 formation and Whelan`s inclusion. He played one season for the dons (2004-2005) and never really hit top form. Whelan could be described as a journeyman; he is now with his 11th club, Harrogate. Having left Aberdeen for Boston before returning to Scotland with Livingston and then Dunfermline before moving South again.
Dons in England
Goalkeeper- Ryan Esson: