Niall McGinn did not want his Aberdeen swansong to come in front of an empty Pittodrie.
With a disrupted season in the books where fans have scarcely been able to watch their team in person, it would have been a disappointing way for McGinn to bid farewell to the Dons.
His new one-year deal will, he hopes, allow him to continue to make an impact at the club he has arguably become most synonymous with over two spells.
“I was just delighted to be able to get a new deal sorted out and extend my time here,” McGinn told the Dons website. “This is a club I have grown to really love.
“Having been at Aberdeen for so long, it would have been hugely disappointing to leave this summer after playing in front of an empty Pittodrie for the last year.
“Last season was different to any other without the fans, and then on the pitch things certainly did not work out the way we wanted them to. You want to leave a club on a high, especially one I care so much about. Hopefully I can do that at the end of next season or even beyond.
“Personally, I have unfinished business. As I say, I want to go out on a high, whenever that comes which is why I was so pleased to sort out a new deal. It was done relatively quickly.
“It was a no brainer for myself. I have built up a good relationship with Stephen (Glass) and Allan (Russell) since they have come in. They seem very keen on me as a player and that was a big positive. They need credit for pushing things from their side as well as me trying to impress on the pitch.”
McGinn is not the quicksilver forward player he was when he first arrived under Craig Brown in 2012 but is still a valuable contributor.
His 87 goals in 347 games for Aberdeen rank him 19th and 16th in the all-time club lists respectively, ahead of the likes of Eric Black, Duncan Shearer and Steve Archibald.
The Northern Ireland international believes his new manager Stephen Glass also recognises his continuing importance.
“When I sat down and spoke with the manager, we talked about what he wants from me and how I can fit into his style of football and formation,” added McGinn. “I think he also sees me as an experienced player who has been around the club for a long time.
“He recognises the need to have that sort of player around to help the team progress. The manager will expect the senior players to be a positive influence on the younger ones coming through, to help them develop and keep improving so he can then play them when they are ready.
“We have that experience with the likes of Andy (Considine), Joe (Lewis), Jonny (Hayes) and myself, players who have been around the club for a long time. We have seen a lot of faces come and go. It is up to us as senior players to drive things every day, so the younger lads understand the work ethic of the club and the standards that they need to set every single day, in training and in games.
“I know from the short time I have been with the manager that he will place high demands on all the players. He knows how he wants us to play, and he will be expecting a lot of good football and expecting a lot of wins. As a group of players, we also have to drive that and live up to those expectations.”
McGinn is also looking beyond his playing days. Turning 34 next month, he knows he will not go on forever but wants to help Aberdeen in whatever way possible.
“I am hoping to continue my coaching badges,” he added. “All that was placed on hold with COVID over the past year. I have finished my B licence so I wanted to get going again and I will try and do some work with the young age groups within the youth academy.
“That might mean going down to Cormack Park one or two evenings a week when we don’t have midweek games and get involved with the underage teams. That is something I definitely want to do.”