Max Lowe was shocked to pick up the players’ player of the year award at Aberdeen but reckons it is reward for his most consistent season.
The Derby County left-back had two spells with the Dons this season, amassing 42 appearances and scoring three goals and garnered the backing of his Aberdeen colleagues at the club’s end of season awards dinner.
He has not ruled out a return to Pittodrie next season but it is likely to depend what league Derby are playing in, given they contest the Championship play-off final against Aston Villa on Monday.
Lowe said: “I was shocked as well because I didn’t think I was going to win it. I thought Graeme Shinnie would have got it because he was the captain and the way he led the squad this season has been unbelievable.
“The likes of him Shay Logan, Joe Lewis and all the experienced lads have helped me massively. I have worked hard this season so it’s nice to see they have seen that in my performances on the pitch and in training sessions. It was nice to get the vote off the boys and I was buzzing with it.
“I feel like it’s been my best season so far in terms of consistency. I’ve had a bad past with injuries and I’ve sometimes not been able to put two or three games together and it’s been nice to play so many games this season.
“It’s always been a doubt in my head whether I can play a full season and be reliable as one of the first names on the teamsheet so it was nice to tick that off the list.”
The 22-year-old is grateful for the opportunity afforded to him at Aberdeen, given the regular football he received under Derek McInnes.
He added: “I loved my time at Aberdeen. I was a bit hesitant going up to Scotland at first, moving away from home for the first time but I felt like I was at the age to kick on and get games under my belt.
“It took me around a month to adapt. The gaffer started me in the first two games, then I was in and out for a bit. It took me a while to get used to the pace and the physicality of the league but as soon as I settled down, I was fine.
“The boys were good in the changing room, they are a great group and the gaffer helped me with my game in training sessions so I felt like I was part of the team straight away. That stability gave me consistency in my performances as well so it was good.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to do that at Aberdeen. It is a big club; we had a good season and I’m just happy to 40-plus games for them.”
Meanwhile, former Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Fraser has been linked with a £30 million move to Liverpool or Manchester City.
Fraser, who left the Dons in 2013 for Bournemouth, has previously been linked with Arsenal and has racked up eight goals and 15 assists in 42 appearances this season.
Aberdeen will be due a 20 per cent sell-on clause if Fraser, who has a year left on his Cherries contract, departs.