Date: 11th April 2007 at 11:24pm
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Last nights 3-1 loss to Celtic reserves has rubber stamped Jimmy Calderwood`s need for more quality. Aberdeen fielded basically their full first team bench which meant the team had plenty of SPL experience but still lost easily to the Reserve League Champions.

The Aberdeen side featured the returning for injury Karim Touzani, Richie Byrne and Zander Diamond as well as bench warmers Derek Soutar, Chris Maguire, Dan Smith and Lee Miller. Jamie Winter and David Donald, who have already been told that they have no Aberdeen future, were also given the match to try and prove themselves.

These are the guys Jimmy has to turn to as he continues his Pittodrie re-building process, the result proving that perhaps not all of them are up to the job and Jimmy wont be long in letting some of them join the un-retained 8 youth team members he is allowing to walk from the club at the end of the season.

To fill those spots Jimmy will be bringing in boys from Peter Weir`s Glasgow academies and he`s also scouring the Highland League for new prospects. Those chosen boys will be given professional terms and be expected to be challenging for first team jersey`s as soon as possible.

Jimmy hasn`t been scared of sweeping the broom as he has proved previously by ejecting established squad players at both Aberdeen and prior club Dunfermline. His ruthless streak obviously works as the Dons have steadily progressed each year under his guidance whilst the Pars have done the exact opposite and now stare relegation in the face.

Jimmy wants a strong, small nucleus of quality players to work with and will look to his success with Dunfermline as a blueprint in which to build his ever developing team. Those who he feels can`t cut it will be shown the door and a player of a higher standard will tried to be found to fill it.

‘It worked exactly the same way when I was at Dunfermline as after the first year we had a bit of a clear out,’ said Calderwood.

‘In fact the total that left after our first season down there was well into double figures.

‘Things have developed in a similar fashion at Aberdeen although each season the amount of players leaving has decreased which is obviously encouraging.

‘I didn’t want to lose Markus Heikkinen or Kevin McNaughton, while Gary Dempsey has also opted to move down to England but there is nothing more I could have done to influence them to stay.

‘But we’re now in a position where only two or three lads are moving on during each close season which creates a more settled atmosphere.’

Jimmy has made no secret of the admiration for some of the players he inherited but was quick to move on the likes of Derek Adams and Steven Craig.

he ones he kept have repaid him well and Calderwood regularly acknowledges their commitment and desire to play for the red shirt.

He said: ‘Russell Anderson, Michael Hart, Chris Clark, Darren Mackie, Richard Foster, Andrew Considine and Zander Diamond have all been here from day one.

‘They have all improved as players since then and made real progress which has been extremely pleasing.

‘If you look at the standards Michael, Chris and Russell set you can’t help but be impressed.

‘Darren has also performed when he’s been fully fit but has been troubled by injuries over the last few seasons.

‘He’s now scored 11 goals this season after his penalty against Dundee United and that’s not a bad return.

‘Zander had a bad season in the last campaign but we would like to think he’s going to be back stronger than before.

‘Richard Foster and Andrew Considine have both risen to the challenge and improved as players.’

Jimmy summed up his 3 year stint in charge and is pleased with the way things are going since joining on May 28th 2004 after Willie Miller convinced him to leave his Scottish Cup finalists Dunfermline.

We’ve made progress every year even though people say we suffered a bad campaign last season.

‘But we had a bad time with injuries at the start and we were still only two places off a European slot.

‘In the first year we were only a few goals away from European football.

‘The lads really deserve it although we’re not there yet.

‘There are times when the lads infuriate me but when you look at other squad lists throughout the country I’m happy with my lot.’

ny more performances like the ones in the last three matches and Jimmy might not be so positive about his players as at this time of the season, the quality players shine through and some of those praised by Calderwood have been found to be wanting in Aberdeen`s last few matches.

He may find himself wishing to move a few more on than he expected to if these guys can`t secure third spot this season and the Dons miss out on Jimmy`s wish of managing in Europe for the first time in his career.