Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
Here, we look at the hot prospects on the cusp of breaking out for Aberdeen.
Every new season presents new challenges and new opportunities – especially for young players. Opportunities for youngsters can be even more limited at sides the more successful they are. Aberdeen have found plenty of success in the past few season and have plenty of options in the transfer market due to the windfall from a Johnny Hayes transfer to Celtic. Nonetheless, there are still a few players at Pittodrie who could be prepared to make the breakthrough to first team football this season. Who will be the next player in the Granite City to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Ryan Jack, Peter Pawlett and Ryan Fraser?
With another long season ahead, rotation of the squad will be key for Derek McInnes at Aberdeen. Injuries will only increase the potential of chances for the likes of 19-year-old central midfielder Frank Ross. Born just north of the city in Ellon, Ross has been described as a creative player who makes good use of both his feet. After making his debut against Dundee in 2015, Ross has continued to be transitioned into Mcinnes’s first team plans – being somewhat of a regular on the bench at Pittodrie last term, racking up eight first team appearances to date. Ross also regularly trains with the first team. The midfielder has found success not just at club youth level, but with his country too – Ross was a part of Scotland’s Victory Shield winning side in 2014. Aberdeen boss McInnes told Aberdeen FC’s website: “[Frank] is a very talented player and one we think highly of,” when Ross inked a new deal at Pittodrie in 2016.
Born even closer to Aberdeen, in the village of Balmedie, winger Scott Wright has already made an impression on the Aberdeen faithful. At just 19 Wright has been a name supporters have wanted to see more of since his debut in a Europa League qualifier against Daugava Riga in 2014. 17 appearances later the young winger may find a route into Mcinnes’s plans after the departures of Niall McGinn, Johnny Hayes and Peter Pawlett who excelled in the wide areas. Wright has been praised for his direct approach, his ability to play on both sides of the pitch and has been described by his manager as a natural ball carrier. Wright’s hat trick against Partick Thistle at the tail end of last season saw the youngster earn himself a brief cameo in Aberdeen’s losing effort against Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final. Wright, who has made 23 appearances at youth level for the Scotland team looks set to challenge for a place with the SPFL runners up this term, with his manager saying on RedTV after a recent friendly victory over Brechin City: “We are expecting a lot from Scott this season.”