Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is confident teenage defender Daniel Harvie will challenge for a first-team berth this season.
The 18-year-old left back enjoyed a productive loan spell at Championship club Dumbarton last season, making 34 appearances and scoring three goals for the Sons.
Harvie made his Aberdeen debut in the 2-1 victory against Partick Thistle on March 8, 2016. He was named young player of the year at Dumbarton’s end-of-season awards and manager McInnes, pictured, hopes the young defender can now push for a starting berth in the first team at Pittodrie.
He said: “Some of our loan players got on better than others last season.
“Some went into difficult situations and that is all part of the learning curve.
“We kept tabs on them and we were happier with some more than others.
“Some of them were out on their first loans and that can sometimes be difficult. But Daniel, in particular, did very well at a team that was struggling against relegation.
“We like to put our defenders to teams that are going to have to do more defending to find out a bit more about them. And we have certainly found out a lot about Danny last season as he coped very well.”
The Aberdeen players report for their first day of pre-season training today as they start preparing for their upcoming Europa League qualifier against either Ordabasy, from Kazakhstan, or NK Siroki Brijeg, from Bosnia.
The sides will meet for the first leg of their first qualifying round encounter in Bosnia on Thursday with the winners of the tie due to face the Dons at Pittodrie on July 13.
The Dons will take on St Johnstone, who have also qualified for the Europa League, in their first pre-season friendly at Mc-Diarmid Park on Saturday.
McInnes added: “We’ve done quite well to get through some of the early rounds in the past, but we’ve still fallen short of the group stages.
“We know one of the consequences of qualifying for Europe is an early start to the season, but it is a challenge we are looking forward to.”