Date: 30th June 2007 at 12:27am
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Aberdeen fans have been told not to expect a load of new faces or even a replacement for their departed captain Russell Anderson.

Willie Miller has already said that Russell`s transfer fee will be ploughed into the business side of the club and the only money from it to be spent on players will be on the new contracts for the existing staff that Jimmy Calderwood wants to retain.

With the pre-season capture of defenders Jackie McNamara, Lee Mair and Jonathan Kurrant, it should have been clearly obvious that the management expected Anderson to be leaving despite the denials but Calderwood reckons he has brought in the boys who can fill the gap left by the new Sunderland defender and despite the huge shoes they`ll have to fill at least one of them believes he can.

The first signing once the season ended was Dundee United`s Lee Mair on a Bosman but when he put pen to paper he believed he`d be challenging to play alongside his old childhood pal but now he must convince the gaffer that he can strike up a partnership with one out of McNamara, Diamond, Considine, Byrne or Touzani as the Dons rebuild the centre of their defence.

ee told the Daily Record of his ambitions at Pittodrie when he said, ‘As much as anything is certain in football a fit Russell Anderson would have been in the team every week so we would all have been fighting to play alongside him.

Now there is an extra vacancy there and it’s a window opening as far as I am concerned – a challenge that I intend to rise to.

It’s obviously a big hole to fill because Russell has legendary status at the club but players are always leaving teams and it’s up to us to deal with it. In my case it’s one less player to compete with for the position I operate in but I would have liked him to stay at Aberdeen.

If we are going to progress to the next level then you need to keep your best players and he certainly comes into the category.

Of course Aberdeen have made good money and it’s a great move for him but I know how highly he is rated here as I’ve always been a fan of the club and used to go their games regardless of the club I was with.

I left Tannadice on good terms with everyone. I got on well with Craig Levein and we wished each other all the best. This is a new chapter in my career and it was great that Jimmy Calderwood remembered me playing at left-back for Dundee.

A few other clubs were interested but Aberdeen was the only one I wanted to join. I came straight up to talk to Jimmy and everything was done within an hour.’

So Lee is certainly in the frame to replace big Russ but can he take on the captain`s role too now that Aberdeen are looking for a new one?

alderwood thinks he might be the man for the job but he has other options in that department. Jackie McNamara has emerged as the front runner but Scott Severin, the vice-captain has been very influential since he joined from Hearts and there are of course some other Aberdeen born and bred lads in the team who`d kill for the honour.

immy admits that he actually bestowed with several players who`d wear the captains armband with the same pride as the likes of Miller, McLeish, McKimmie and most recently Anderson but who to choose?

immy spoke of how Anderson`s departure would affect his plans and what he intends to do about it.

e said, “There’s no denying Russell’s departure is a massive blow,’

‘But I definitely won’t be buying a defender to replace him.

‘It will be difficult but it’s up to players in the squad to step up and show they are capable of filling his position.

‘The captaincy is up for grabs now as well.

‘We have plenty of defenders with the potential to fill his position and wear the armband.

ho should be the next Aberdeen FC captain is the subject of our new poll so get voting and tell us who you think should be leading the Dons out next season.