Declan Gallagher says Aberdeen are getting a defender ‘at the top of his game’ as he sets his sights on silverware this season.
The 30-year-old centre-back checked in at Cormack Park yesterday having signed a two-year deal following an agreement to join the club upon the expiry of his Motherwell deal earlier in the year.
Gallagher was quick to outline his intention to bring trophies to the Dons and reckons he is just reaching his prime after standout spells with Livingston and Well.
— Declan Gallagher (@declang31) June 29, 2021
“A lot of people these days are quick to judge someone on their age,” the Scotland international told RedTV.
“They see the 30s and think ‘he’s past it’ or ‘he’s done’ but defenders don’t come into their own until they’re about 30 and I feel right now I’m at the top of my game.
“I got capped when I was older so I think that shows that every year I’m improving and I’m getting better with age.”
Gallagher was at the European Championships with Scotland but did not feature in any of the matches as Steve Clarke’s side exited at the group stage.
He is now looking forward to linking up with fellow veterans Andy Considine, Scott Brown and Joe Lewis as the Dons look to make boss Stephen Glass’s first season one to remember.
“It’s going to be very competitive, it always is,” nine-cap Gallagher added. “But it’s one we’re looking forward to.
“It’s a massive club going in the right direction. After speaking to the manager and getting his thoughts and his ideas on the way he wants to play the game it was something that really appealed to me.
“(I’d like) a good cup run – that’s something in my career I’ve not really done, so it’s something I’ll be looking for but I know the fans will be looking for silverware this season as well.
“It’s a massive club so that’s something we have to strive for.”
In addition to trophies, Gallagher has European progress in his crosshairs.
Aberdeen kick off their Europa Conference League qualification campaign against BK Hacken of Sweden at Pittodrie on July 22, with the return leg in Gothenburg a week later.
Gallagher said: “You want to be that team that takes the next step into the group stages, outwith the Old Firm. It’s a massive achievement if you can do that, a bit of history.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) June 29, 2021
“As a footballer you always want to do something that gets out there for everyone to see and makes a statement.
“We need to take that chance and progress for Scottish football, to push ourselves into the group stages of these competitions.”
The defender says he will also embrace the chance to help young Dons progress their careers in the first team, adding: “We’ve got Andy, Scott, myself and Joe so it’s a lot of experience and we’ll be helping the young boys as much as we can.
“Having us here to speak to the young boys and help them will only benefit their careers.
“As many leaders as you can get on the pitch the better. Everybody needs to play their part and the more leaders we’ve got the better it’ll be on the park.”
Gallagher is one of a number of new faces at the Dons for the new season.
He joins Brown, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jack Gurr, Teddy Jenks and Christian Ramirez as boss Glass looks to put his own stamp on the squad.