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Anthony Stewart - captain of Aberdeen

This afternoon I went to Pittodrie to watch Anthony Stewart playing for Aberdeen. Not only has he gone straight into the first team but he’s been made club captain.

Apart from a misplaced pass in the opening minutes he gave an assured & commanding performance at centre-half. He looks to be an asset to the Dons as his headers & clearances went to team-mates virtually every time.

Raith Rovers had a couple of early half-chances but Aberdeen were superior & cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win in the group stage of the Premier Sports Cup.

Yesterday I took in Arbroath v Airdrieonians in the same competition. Again, apart from a couple of early chances for the visitors (very well saved by the Arbroath keeper) the home side’s superiority came through to earn a 3-0 win.

Arbroath’s Gayfield Park is a lovely old-fashioned ground with terracing on 3 sides & seats along just one side. There were lots of young children there who were able to run about without disturbing people watching the game. The ground is right next to the North Sea. A cold wind blew up from nowhere during the game. In January or February watching football there must be like taking part in an SAS endurance test.

This morning I took the chance to visit Aberdeen’s other grounds. Cove Rangers have made it to the Scottish Championship & are desperately trying to upgrade their ground in order to cope. A further 1,800 seats were being installed with work even going on this Sunday. Incidentally they play in light & dark blue (hoops).

Banks O’Dee FC have just been promoted to the Highland League. Their tiny ground (capacity 876) is part of a sports fitness complex. Both they & Cove Rangers have 3G pitches.

My overall impression of the 2 games & 4 teams I saw was that they all were trying to play passing football (Arbroath were possible a little more direct). And contrary to perception the goalkeepers were all excellent.

A very interesting short visit to Scotland & it’s back on the overnight Caledonian sleeper train shortly.


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