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‘Shrewd, forward thinking and positive’ – Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin on the appointment of club legend Willie Garner to the board

Aberdeen legend Willie Garner has been appointed a non-executive director at Aberdeen.
Aberdeen legend Willie Garner has been appointed a non-executive director at Aberdeen.

The appointment of club legend Willie Garner to the Aberdeen board has been hailed as “shrewd, forward thinking” move by boss Jim Goodwin.

Garner, 66, has been appointed a non-executive board director at Pittodrie.

The former Dons defender was assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Pittodrie from 1984 to 86.

During Garner’s time as No.2 to Sir Alex the club won five major honours.

As a player he also won the Scottish League title in 1980 and the League Cup in 1976.

In the business world Garner had a successful career in banking and finance with Lloyds and then Scottish Widows.

Goodwin hailed the appointment of a board member with Garner’s playing and business background.

Thumbs up. Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during the 1-0 victory against Dundee at Pittodrie.

He said: “I think it’s quite a shrewd move, really.

“You’ve got someone with a good business background.

“However more importantly he’ll be there for his football background to offer his opinions to the other directors on the board.

“So I think it’s a very positive and forward thinking appointment.”

Manager Jim Goodwin during the match against Dundee at Pittodrie.

Plans to meet with Garner next week

Garner played for the Dons between 1975 to 1981 before moving to Celtic.

He returned in 1984,  aged just 29, to become assistant to Sir Alex when his previous No.2 Archie Knox left to manage Dundee.

Willie Garner was a Dons player before he returned as assistant boss.

Goodwin said: “I spoke to the chairman briefly about it over the weekend.

“He made me aware of what the plans were with Willie coming on as a non-executive director.

“I meet all of the directors at one point or another.

“No doubt in the next week or so I’ll get to catch up with Willie and have a coffee.”

Willie Garner won the League title in Aberdeen in 1980. He is pictured with the 1979/1980 squad.

Board member played at highest level

Aberdeen have endured their worst season in years.

The club have failed to finish in the top six for the first time since 2013.

Missing out on the top six has also ended eight consecutive years of European qualification.

Garner experienced the halcyon days when Aberdeen dominated Scottish football.

He has been brought in by chairman Dave Cormack and the board to help get the Reds back on track.

Lewis Ferguson celebrates making it 1-0 by slamming the ball into the net after converting a penalty.

Dons boss Goodwin is set for a summer rebuild of an underperforming squad.

Goodwin believes having a former player who has performed at the highest level on the board will be invaluable.

He said: “I don’t think he is going to have any great dealings with the day to day running of the football club.

“However, at the same time it’s nice for me to know there is someone there on the board who has played the game at the highest level.

“And who can feed things back and forth, no doubt.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during the 1-0 defeat of Dundee at Pittodrie.

‘We have a lot of recruitment to do’

Meanwhile Goodwin is determined his summer rebuild will ensure there is no repeat of this season’s bottom six finish.

Aberdeen travel to Hibs on Saturday with both clubs desperate to put a positive sheen on a disappointing campaign.

Both clubs began the season with aspirations of European qualification and pushing for silverware.

Goodwin is under no illusions that Aberdeen’s fortunes must improve dramatically next season.

The Dons boss and his recruitment team are scouring Europe for summer signing targets.

He has already opened dialogue with a number of targets.

Goodwin aims to have the vast majority of his signings secured before returning for pre-season training in mid June.

Before then, however, there are three Premiership games remaining.

He has challenged the Reds to end the campaign on a winning run.

Lewis Ferguson scores from the penalty spot to make it 1-0 against Dundee.

He said; “It’s fair to say both Aberdeen and Hibs have underachieved this season.

“And we will both be looking to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“Certainly from our point of view we have a lot of hard work ahead of us.

“We have a lot of recruitment to do.

“We need to freshen things up and that is going to be the main objective for us and no doubt Hibs and other teams out there as well.”

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