Bruce Anderson has never hid the fact he is an avid Aberdeen fan.
The home-town boy from Banff, who burst on to the scene with a memorable late leveller against Rangers in 2018, has always had the Dons at heart.
Aberdeen is out of sight for Anderson just now, but not out of mind. In a desire to prove to manager Derek McInnes he can cut it at Premiership level, he asked to go out on loan in January for regular game-time.
He has found the net twice in his first five games for Hamilton Accies and has the faith of his current head coach Brian Rice, to help steer the club away from relegation trouble.
With his contract at Pittodrie up in the summer his long-term future may well be up for grabs, but he is setting about things the right way.
“First and foremost, I want to do as well as I can for Hamilton because they are the club I am at just now,” said Anderson. “I want to do my best for Brian Rice and everybody at Accies and at the same time I want to show Aberdeen I can do well in the Premier League. I just want to get a regular run to prove that I can do well at this level.
Really good point tonight, the lads were great again⚽️delighted to get another goal too ⚽️👍🏻 @acciesfc
— Bruce Anderson (@BRUCEA23) February 17, 2021
“I just want to play and build my confidence up and then we will see what happens in the summer. My contract is up but I am just concentrating on the games and after that my future will take care of itself.
“It would be massive if I could go back to Aberdeen and be one of their main strikers next season. Everybody knows how big an Aberdeen fan I am. That is my goal and dream to lead the line for Aberdeen.”
Anderson has faced competition from Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main for much of his time with the senior squad. Former Dons favourite Adam Rooney was somewhat of a mentor for him, prior to his exit three years ago.
McInnes opted to shuffle his striking pack on Deadline Day, with Cosgrove completing a switch to Birmingham City and Main heading to Shrewsbury. Three loan signings – Florian Kamberi, Fraser Hornby and Callum Hendry – came in, leaving Anderson again looking at slim pickings.
“I have a good relationship with the manager and Tony Docherty,” he added. “I just wanted to play football and they understood my position and agreed to the loan.
“I had a good conversation with the manager. He just wants what’s best for me because I have known him and worked under him since I was a young, young boy.
“I told him I wanted to play games and I felt Hamilton was the best opportunity. He agreed to let me go on loan and then after that is up we can see where it takes us. I had a good conversation and we both see this as a good opportunity to prove myself at Premiership level.”
Anderson has three goals in 39 games for Aberdeen, with key goals against Livingston and Kilmarnock to add to his Rangers strike.
However, out of those 39 games, only four have come from the starting 11. His last start for the Dons came in the dismal 1-0 opening-defeat to Rangers in August.
Despite his frustrations on the park, the 22-year-old maintains he has a good relationship with McInnes.
“I have gone through a lot this year in my personal life and the manager always made sure I was alright off the pitch and that shows the mark of him,” said Anderson. “He always looked after me and made sure life was good away from the park.
“When I was 15 I was diagnosed with diabetes. He always looked out for me and he knew I was living away from home and he and he made sure I was okay.”