Report by Andy McLaren
Former Aberdeen youngster Brian Neill today vowed to make up for three years of disappointment with the Dons by bringing Amateur football’s Premier Division back to Woodside.
The ex-Aberdeen youth player joined the Dons when he was 16 but was released by Jimmy Calderwood in 2007 and joined Buckie Thistle under Duncan Shearer’s reign.
In 2009, the 25-year-old signed for Dave Cormie’s Inverurie Locos but the midfielder was released a year later after breaking his foot.
But despite almost quitting the game due to a lack of motivation, Brian admits he now has the hunger to win silverware again after being in the “wrong place at the wrong time” with Aberdeen.
He said: “Amateur football is a lot more relaxed in the sense that when you can’t make training, it’s not the end of the world but in the Highland League, it was a big problem.
“I felt I was involved with Aberdeen at a bad time when they were qualifying for Europe, which meant they were investing money into more experienced players.
“I honestly think things may have been different if I was involved with the youth set-up now as they need to look to younger talent nowadays.
“I have never really felt any added pressure having previously been with the Dons but the reason why I’m in Amateur football is because I really enjoy it.
“Sometimes the lads mock the fact I once played for a well-respected club such as Aberdeen but it’s all good banter.”
In 2012, Woodside became Aberdeen’s top Amateur team by winning both the Premier Division title and the Aberdeen FC trophy.
Despite not retaining Amateur football’s top prize, the Bridge of Don outfit were recently crowned John Todd Memorial champions, having also won the Edmond and Premier trophy earlier in the season.
And Sheddocksley-born Brian, who joined Woodside in 2011, is confident his side will become the top Amateur team in the city again next season.
“We have a few new signings in line for next season which can only bolster our strong squad,” he said.
“Winning three trophies was a decent outcome, despite our poor start to the season, but I know we can better this.
“The plan is to win the Premier Division and Aberdeen FC trophy next season and I think we are capable of doing this.
“I was training again with Buckie Thistle during the season to improve my fitness but I now have a daughter who is growing fast and circumstances mean Amateur football is the place for me.”