Aberdeen supporters paid tribute to one of their own as they honoured Andrew Considine in recognition of his 12 years of service to his local club.
Dutch side FC Twente left with a 2-1 win but it was the Aberdonian Considine who took the acclaim on his special night.
A Dons man through and through, Considine is a respected figure in the Pittodrie dressing room and with good reason.
Considine knows what it means to play for Aberdeen. He is a second generation Don after all, having followed in his father Doug’s footsteps and his influence and level of performance has grown at Pittodrie with each passing season.
That’s why the spotlight was deservedly placed on the Banchory raised defender in recognition of his service to a club he has served for more than a decade.
The secret to Considine’s longevity is simple. He has proven himself to be a player’s player, a man who is a committed member of the team and always been willing to put his head, and his body, in where it hurts, famously to his own detriment when he suffered a broken leg at Dens Park, Dundee in December 2013.
But not only is he a popular and vital member of the squad at Pittodrie, Considine has cemented his reputation as a player who can be trusted by every manager he has worked under.
Despite being a central defender Considine has played left back on a regular basis for Dons after being asked to do so by several managers. Most importantly, he has done so without a word of complaint, to the point where he is now the recognised first choice left back at the club.
That sort of positive attitude and versatility is why Derek McInnes gave him a new contract, just as Craig Brown did before him and Jimmy Calderwood too.
Players who give years of long service to one club are a rare breed these but Considine is one of rarities. Aberdeen is his club, he knows what it means to play for them and he cares.
Former manager Brown, now a director at the club, believes those qualities make Considine a contender to be a future captain of the Dons.
And enjoy it he did as Dutch side FC Twente provided the opposition to the Dons in Considine’s big night – he even got to play in central defence too.
As is so often the case in these games, the tempo was relaxed with avoiding any injury the prime concern as far as the respective managers were concerned.
It was the Dons who threatened first with a fine diving header from Adam Rooney forcing Twente goalkeeper Sonny Stevens into action early.
But the Dutch side opened the scoring midway through the first half when midfielder Hakim Ziyech took possession of a misplaced pass from Clark Robertson 35 yards from goal and strode forward before beating Scott Brown in the Aberdeen goal with a low drive from the edge of the box.
The goal changed the complexion of the game dramatically with midfielder Barry Robson increasing the physicality in an attempt to get his team going. This was a friendly but there was no lack of appetite or conviction from the veteran although he was unable to help his side get back on level terms before half-time.
The entertainment continued during the interval as several former Dons took to the field. Paul Mason, Willem van der Ark, Theo Snelders, Brian Irvine, Eugene Dadi, Arild Stavrum and Paul Sheerin made a brief cameo alongside lucky supporters, including chairman Stewart Milne, who had bid for places alongside the former players.
Dadi scored for the ‘away’ team when he headed in a rebound from a Sheerin lob which had come back off the crossbar before a neat backheel set-up Stavrum for the second goal. Dadi wrapped up an entertaining 3-0 win with the last kick of the ball before treating the leading a repeat of the train celebration which he famously led during the club’s nine home wins in a row under Ebbe Skovdahl in season 2001-02.
The raft of substitutions followed in the second half but it was the visitors who scored again as attacker Shadrach Eghan beat Brown with a fine looping header from 12 yards after running on to substitute Youness Mokhtar’s perfectly weighted ball into the box.
The Dons responded immediately through substitute Lawrence Shankland, but it was the Dutch who left Pittodrie with the win.
On a night when Considine, who ended the game playing alongside his father Doug and his brother Doug junior, was the focal point, however, the result was irrelevant.