Andy Considine hopes to celebrate a big week on and off the pitch by helping Aberdeen reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup this evening.
The Dons defender was a doubt for the last-16 cup tie against St Mirren with his wife due to give birth, but the 33-year-old will be in the side to face the Buddies after the safe arrival of his son Arthur yesterday morning.
If selected, Considine will make his 535th appearance for the Dons, moving him up to joint fifth alongside goalkeeper Jim Leighton on Aberdeen’s all-time list.
With Derek McInnes already missing several first-team players for the cup tie, the Dons boss is delighted to have Considine available for the trip to Paisley.
He said: “Thankfully Andy’s wife gave birth on Friday morning.
“That was one of the concerns we had, but his wife Madeleine has played an absolute blinder in having the baby through the night.
“We were concerned she would go into labour on Wednesday (when Aberdeen played Hamilton).
“Andy got some much-needed sleep on Friday, but will be available thankfully.
“I knew he was close (to 535 appearances), so that is brilliant.
“It is a brilliant achievement for Andy to accumulate that amount of games, especially for an Aberdeen supporter.
“There is no sign of him letting up. He has more games ahead of him.
“Jim went to Manchester United and played at other clubs, but it’s great to get into that category with an Aberdeen legend like Jim Leighton.
“It is very rare in the modern game for a player to play that many games for one club.”
The 33-year-old is enjoying a purple patch in his career, having now won three caps for Scotland after making his debut in a 1-0 win against Slovakia on October 11.
McInnes believes Considine’s dedicated approach to the game will give him plenty of opportunities to amass even more appearances in the red of Aberdeen.
He said: “I have worked with him for almost eight years.
“He is better technically and more aggressive than I thought.
“He has benefited possibly from playing with better players and the extra professionalism there has been in and around the club the last wee while.
“Andy has always been very conscious and has been one of the players who has helped develop that culture in the club of what needs to be done to be a professional footballer.
“His performance levels have been very strong, whether he is playing at centre-back or left-back.
“The whole world wanted to tell me he couldn’t play left-back, but he won two player of the year awards from there and was brilliant for me.
“His natural position now is to play in the left of a three and he can play in the middle of the three.
“In the last few years of his career, he has moved away from that option at left-back and will now be that option at centre-back for us.
“There is recent history of good centre-backs playing late into their career as long as you have enough pace around about you and you can use the benefit of the experience of playing in that position.
“There is no reason why Andy can’t continue being a prominent player for us in the next couple of seasons.
“I think it is one of the few positions on the pitch, along with goalkeeper and centre midfield, where, as long as you have enough legs around about you, then you can play a bit longer.
“Certainly goalkeepers and centre-back would be positions where you can still perform with the right system and players around about you.
“The key is to keep training and not to miss long spells through injury.
“Andy has come through a couple of serious injuries in his career, but thankfully he has kept those injuries to a minimum in the last while.
“That is important for every player, but especially as you get older.”
McInnes believes the defender is the perfect role model for the younger players trying to make their name at Pittodrie.
He added: “Andy leads by example and he is good figurehead for looking at what can be achieved.
“He trains right every time, he is in early and leaves late, he is in the gym and anytime he has a day off he still comes in to do his maintenance.
“He is well aware of what is required to get the most out of his career.
“From that point of view, he has got that influence off the pitch.”