Rising Aberdeen teenage midfield star Connor Barron insists he has a ‘winning mentality’ and is gunning for success.
The 19-year-old earned a League Two title winner’s medal for his loan spell at champions Kelty Hearts earlier this season.
He now has a taste for glory and is determined to secure that at Aberdeen.
The teen has started every game since Jim Goodwin was appointed Dons manager in mid-February.
Now he aims to repay the manager’s faith by helping the club secure success under the new boss next season.
Barron’s emergence has been a positive in a dismal season for Aberdeen.
The Reds will call time on the campaign with a home clash against St Mirren on Sunday.
Aberdeen have been consigned to a bottom six Premiership finish for the first time since 2013.
Although disappointed at the Dons’ poor form, Barron is delighted to have made his mark in Goodwin’s team in recent months.
He said: “I’ve got that winning mentality within myself
“And the gaffer has been great with me, showing that trust.
“For any young player, that’s what you want.
“All I can do is keep repaying him with good performances and hopefully push on next season.”
Rapid rise to first team regular status
Barron’s rise to become an established first team starter has been rapid.
However, he has effectively become the replacement in the heart of midfield for Scott Brown, who left the club in March.
He spent the first half of the season on loan at League Two Kelty.
He says the move to Kelty, who would go on to win the League Two title, was a key step in his ascent to the Dons first team.
Barron said: “That loan spell to Kelty was probably the making of me.
“It gave me that bit of spotlight and was really good for me.
“I went to Brechin last season and it didn’t go to plan as a team.
“However, I feel I learned a lot from that.
“The second loan spell, to Kelty, they were playing good football, winning matches and people were watching.
“I was getting a bit more noticed by Aberdeen and it went on from there.”
The importance of winning mentality
Aberdeen team-mate Kieran Ngwenya spent the entire season on loan at Kelty and played a key role in the title win.
Barron also played a fundamental role in the title success with 14 appearances.
He said: “It was always good for me to go out and get games and that experience.
“Every time I play I want to show everyone what I can do.
“I knew the chance at Aberdeen would come at some point.
“It took longer than expected, but I always believed I’d come back and push my way into the team.”
League winner’s medal at just 18
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.
He has remained there ever since.
At just 19 years old Barron already has the experience of winning a league title.
He has the winner’s medal to show for it.
Barron said: “I picked the medal up a couple of weeks ago, so I’ll get it framed along with my strip.”
‘I’ve got that winning mentality’
The midfielder believes being part of the must-win culture at a team pushing for a league title was fundamental to his development.
He aims to bring that to his Aberdeen career.
The teen said: “To feel that everybody was driving in the same direction was great.
“As soon as I came in at Kelty, the manager and everybody was saying that we were going to win the league.
“It was the kind of pressure that drove me on in every single game, thinking: ‘we have to go and win the league here’.
“That was really good.
“Hopefully I can bring that experience into next season and go and push on.”