Scott Wright is too young to have witnessed the era of the Gothenburg Greats but he is old enough to remember more recent moments to be treasured.
Wright can recall Darren Mackie’s diving header at Dnipro which earned the Dons qualification for the group stage of the Uefa Cup in 2007 and Jamie Smith’s spectacular effort in the win against Copenhagen which set-up a last 32 meeting with Bayern Munich.
That is why he would love nothing more than etch his own mark in the club’s European history when his side face Sporting Clube de Portugal in Lisbon tomorrow.
He said: “I went to one or two European games as I normally stayed and watched them at a house. I was there for Jamie Smiths’ volley against Copenhagen and I remember watching Dnipro away in the house when Darren Mackie scored his diving header, so it would be great to have my own legacy and make my own history.
“It’s disappointing the fans won’t be there, but I’m sure they are just as excited by this game. The fact football is back is the most important thing.”
Aberdeen have never reached the play-off round of the Europa League and in this, their seventh attempt under Derek McInnes, their hopes have been boosted by a Covid-19 outbreak at Sporting which has ruled out nine players and three coaches, including opposition manager Ruben Amorim from tomorrow’s tie at the Jose Alvalade Stadium.
The 50,000 capacity arena will also be empty for the big game due to fans not being permitted to watch games, and Wright hopes that can help his side’s bid to progress.
He said: “It is a different challenge. The European games are always exciting and there’s a wee spark. It’s different to the league, but it’s just a shame the fans are not there. It has totally changed with it being a one-off game though.
“The dynamic totally changes in an empty stadium. It would be great to get a result and for our fans to see it just as it would have been in Norway last week, but we just have to deal with it.
“I’m looking forward to the game. They have produced some absolutely fantastic players and have a DNA within the club of developing technical players. I’m sure the rest of the boys are looking forward to it as well.”
Aberdeen will be one of four clubs flying the flag for Scotland tomorrow with Celtic, Rangers and Motherwell also in Europa League action and Wright is eager to see his club continue its run in the competition by securing a play-off round match at home to either LASK of Austria or Slovakian side Dunajska Streda next week.
He said: “It’s good for Scottish football that teams are progressing, but we just want to make sure we focus on ourselves at the minute and get through the tie.”
Wright has played a pivotal part in his club’s fine start to the season, helping the Dons win six in a row before Sunday’s disappointing 3-0 home loss to Motherwell.
His return comes after he missed almost the whole of last season with a cruciate ligament injury and having worked his way back into the team the attacker is determined to stay there.
He said: “I had a difficult time last season. I felt like I was going to break in when I got the bad injury.
“These things happen. I just focused over lockdown, came back and have been training really hard and thankfully the manager has seen fit to put me in.
“I’ve just been enjoying my football. This is something I’ve always wanted to do (become a big player for the side).
“More goals is something I’ve been needing to add to my game. I’m getting into positions – some of them are going in and some of them aren’t.
“All I can do is keep working hard at training and the goals will eventually fall for me.”