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Rising Aberdeen star Connor Barron aims to repay manager’s faith

Aberdeen teenage midfielder Connor Barron in action.
Aberdeen teenage midfielder Connor Barron in action.

Teenage midfielder star Connor Barron is determined to continue his rapid rise to repay boss Jim Goodwin’s faith.

The 19-year-old has been a standout performer in Goodwin’s first seven games in charge since taking over as manager.

Barron only made his Dons debut as a late substitute in January this year.

Fast forward three months and he is effectively the replacement for captain Scott Brown who exited the club in March.

Barron’s club form was also recently rewarded with a debut Scotland U21 cap.

It has been a remarkable ascent for the teen who has thanked Goodwin for giving him the opportunity to shine.

Aberdeen’s Connor Barron during the 1-0 loss to Ross County at Pittodrie.

Barron said: “I can’t thank the gaffer enough for the faith he has shown in me.

“I feel that I have done well in training and I have earned my space in the team.

“I must not forget what got me here because that is what I have to keep on doing.

“I have worked hard to get to where I am today.

“But the hard work doesn’t stop.

“I have to keep working hard every day in training and be the best I can be in every game.”

Teen star Connor Barron in action for Aberdeen against Ross County.

Barron’s drive to keep improving

Barron only made his first Aberdeen start in the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone on February 15 under then interim boss Barry Robson.

On his arrival at Pittodrie as new manager Goodwin kept the teen in the starting line-up for his first game in charge.

Barron has been a regular starter and key component of the team under Goodwin ever since.

Rangers Midfielder Glen Kamara closes down Aberdeen midfielder Connor Barron.

The talented teen insists the Red Army have yet to see his best.

Such is his desire to continue learning and developing he is confident of continually improving.

Barron is soaking up information from boss Goodwin and the experienced players at Pittodrie.

He said: “I know I still have a lot more to show on the pitch.

“I want to (keep) improving and keep learning from the other players.

“To keep taking information off the manager, the coaches and the more experienced boys.

“I want to take it all on board and push on from there.”

No complacency from midfielder

The emergence of Barron and fellow teen Calvin Ramsay have been positives of a disappointing season for the Reds.

Barron was recalled from a scheduled season long loan spell at Kelty Hearts in January.

Within days of returning to Pittodrie he penned a contract extension until summer 2024.

It has quickly proven to be an astute move by Aberdeen.

Youth Academy graduate Barron may firmly be established in the starting XI but he will not take his position for granted.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin with Connor Barron at full-time against Motherwell.

He worked too hard to get to this position. And he knows there are players desperate to take his place.

Barron said: “It is great to be in the position I am in at the moment but the hard work does not stop.

“I need to continue to impress.

“At a club like Aberdeen you have to keep putting in good performances because it is competitive.

“There will always be good players ready to take your place.

“Someone is always  behind you who can put you out of the team just as quickly as you go in it.”

Connor Barron during a Scotland under-21 training session ahead of the Euro U21 qualifier.

The importance of Kelty Hearts loan

International recognition arrived last month for Barron’s Aberdeen performances.

The teen started for Scotland U21’s in a 2-2 Euro U21 qualifier away to Kazakhstan.

Barron previously captained the U18s and U20s at Pittodrie prior to loan spells at Brechin City last season and Kelty.

With 14 appearances for Kelty the teen played a key role in their League Two title win.

Aberdeen’s Connor Barron during his first start for the club, a 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.

Fellow Don Kieran Ngwenya is also a regular starter for Kelty this season during a loan spell.

Defender Ngwenya, 19, has racked up 24 appearances, 21 of them starts, for the League Two champions.

Barron insists the time in League Two with Kelty was an important move in his rise to the Aberdeen first team.

He said: “Kelty helped me massively.

“Going down there, I knew that the aim was to win the league.

“That is why I wanted to go there, to win games.

“I knew they wanted to play good football and get the ball on the deck.

“I really enjoyed working under Kevin Thomson (Kelty Hearts manager) as well.

“He would always have things to say to me before and after the games and helped me along the way.

“I am in a much better position after that loan spell.”

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