Date: 17th April 2007 at 11:46am
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Jimmy Calderwood could never be accused of taking it easy or resting on his laurels as his hectic Dutch expedition proves. Jimmy and his backroom boys amassed a total of twelve matches consumed over the weekend in what could prove to be a fruitful mission.

Aberdeen of course do not have the money to be chapping the likes of PSV, Ajax or Feyenoord for the cream of their players but our manager who had played for the likes of Sparta Rotterdam, Willem 11Tilburg, Roda JC and Heracles Almelo as well as managing NEC Nijmegan is well aware of the standard the lower clubs may have.

alderwood spoke of his weekend`s excursion and why he wanted to chance his arm in his former country of employment.

e said,” We are looking for wide players and virtually every team in Holland plays with two wingers so we had a good look at a number of players. There were a couple worth following up on and I’m the eternal optimist, so we will see what develops.

‘There is a big difference between the Premier Division teams and the Second Division in Holland. We also went to watch non-league matches, but the quality was very poor. Between the three of us we watched 12 games so it was a worthwhile trip.’

He did however admit ‘I was disappointed with the standard. The bigger teams can play, but it is hard to judge due to the pace of the game. In Scotland every aspect of the game is intense, but in Holland it is much more laid back.

‘The slower, methodical approach was a nice change, but it is not easy to judge whether players would cope with the pace of the game in this country.’

Aberdeen must also find some young players to fill the SPL mandatory quota as Jamie Winter and David Donald will be leaving and other players have aged.

He said: ‘We have to address the situation with the under-21s next year as Zander Diamond and Richard Foster will be too old to qualify as young players for the SPL rules next season.

‘As it stands we will have Andrew Considine, Chris Maguire and Dan Smith who are eligible and the rules state we must have three. We still have younger lads we have hopes for, but it would be good to get one or two more through.

‘That’s why the trip was a worthwhile one. There were a lot of younger players on show. We know what we want and some were of interest and some were worth keeping an eye on for the future.’

he lads given the opportunity of a Dons career have been named and youth development coach Lenny is very optimistic with the new intake.

Peter Pawlett, Scott Ross, Stirling Smith and Ross Gibson who, along with Ryan Jack, Callum McRobbie, Chris Gallagher and Gregg Carroll are the replacements for the eight youth players who were not awarded contract extensions and such is the standard of these boys Taylor commented, ‘We have high hopes for this latest group of youngsters. When you take in eight you would normally expect to see at least two come through and make the grade. But I’ve so much faith in this latest batch that I’ll be disappointed if at least four don’t do enough to earn an extension to the two year contracts they’ve already been given.’

Exciting times ahead for players, coaches and fans alike. Take a note of those young lads and be one of the first to check them out next season and give your views on if you share the same optimism as their new coaches.