Aberdeen FC

Development Dons – Duo Sign Up

Aberdeen this afternoon have been busy securing the services of reserve captain, Jack Mackenzie for a further two years and signing up 19-year-old defender Luc Bollan

Jack, played 23 times for the reserve side last season and has appeared on the bench twice.

Commenting on the club website, Jack said: “I’m very happy at the club and really looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“I really enjoyed last season and it was good to get minutes playing, as I didn’t get a lot the previous campaign.

“The Reserve League was not ideal. We only had 15 odd games and went a few weeks without a match at times, so it was tough from that perspective because as a young player you are desperate to play so you can impress and improve. But I enjoyed the games when they came along.

“I just like to get my head down and have done a lot of work, especially in the gym to get myself a bit bigger and improve my physique.

“I’ve worked well with Paddy Maughan our Sports Scientist to increase strength and speed and to make myself more competitive.

“Paul Sheerin has helped me a lot especially with the defensive side of the game. I still need improve with one v one situations and being stronger in the air to help make myself a better all-round player.

“I like to think of myself as a modern-day full back. Sometimes I’ve been caught out of position, and that is something as a young player you need to learn from quickly, but I like getting forward and that is a big part of my game.

“It was nice to be given the armband and it was a great experience to be given the responsibility.

“My game did not change that much when I was the captain, you want to lead by example, but I try to be a bit more vocal on the pitch and encourage teammates as well having a word with the referee when necessary!

“I’ve been in a few first team squads and was on the bench against St Mirren back in October as well as the game against Celtic at Pittodrie at the end of the campaign.

“The aim next season is to break into the team and I’ve really enjoyed the experience of being in and around the squad.

“Both Dean Campbell and Ethan Ross signed professional contracts when I did and it has been great to see the progress they have made. It gives everyone in the development squad a real lift when you see your friends playing in the first team.”

As well as being a very talented footballer, Jack is one of the most intelligent young men you will meet, being a straight-A student.

“Mark Reynolds recently completely his Degree at The Robert Gordon University.

“A number of the other current squad are doing different courses, such as Sam Cosgrove who is studying to be an accountant.

“Our AFC Education Officer Allan McKimmie does a great job helping the players with this and finding a course that is suitable for them. I’m going to start something at the Open University at some point, but I will give my football career 100% over the next two years and see where it takes me.”

Luc comes to Aberdeen following a spell at Dundee Utd taking part in the Irn Bru Cup, having also been put out on loan last season to Cowdenbeath.

Luc had played for Aberdeen in the development squad as a trialist at the recent testimonial against Wick Academy.

Paul Sheerin told the club website:  “Luc came in at the tail end of last season. He come up to Wick with us for the testimonial match and played as a trialist.

“He is a player we had known all about.

“He had been at Dundee United and was on loan at Cowdenbeath last season. When he became available it was an area we were looking to strengthen. We have a bit of gap between the U18 players and the first team squad when it comes to central defenders. We don’t really have anyone in that area of the pitch.

“I have known Luc from watching him in the past in games against the U18s and younger age groups at Dundee United. I knew there was potential there. I have seen enough to suggest that he could develop into a good centre half.

“He is different to maybe what we have had.

“He is a proper defender who looks to dominate.

“I don’t want to compare him to anyone, but he is your Scott McKenna type of player. He likes to head the ball, he likes to tackle. He has a good mentality and knows the game.

“I spoke to Gary about his son, obviously it was difficult for him not to give a biased report! But we also spoke to plenty of other people to get their thoughts on him.

“It is a one year deal. We are giving Luc the opportunity to resurrect his career. We will see how his year develops. I am looking forward to him coming in and getting going with us.”