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Ryan Duncan wants more European adventures with Aberdeen

Dons focused on getting back in the race for European football next season.

Ryan Duncan in action for Aberdeen. Image: Shutterstock
Ryan Duncan in action for Aberdeen. Image: Shutterstock

Aberdeen winger Ryan Duncan is hungry for more after completing his first group stage campaign in European football with the Dons.

The European journey is over for another season but Duncan insists his appetite has been whetted for more after sampling trips to Sweden, Finland, Germany and Greece with his club in this campaign.

He said: “I’ve been happy with how the season has gone for me personally so far.

“I have played a good amount of games and had the experience of playing in Europe as well, so I am happy with what I’ve done.

“Europe has been a real learning experience for me so it’s something I’m really glad I’ve done and want to get again.

“We have had a lot of games with Europe and the cup games, but Europe is over now so we want to be climbing the table.

“Is third still achievable? Of course, but we just have to take it a game at a time and see what happens.”

‘You can see there is a pathway there’

Ryan Duncan during an Aberdeen training session. Image: SNS

The 19-year-old has been involved regularly this season under Dons boss Barry Robson.

The duo worked together in the academy set-up and Duncan hopes his progress to the first team squad can serve as inspiration to the next group of talented teenagers coming through the ranks at Cormack Park.

He said: “The manager has shown a lot of faith in me, I have known him for a long time and that helps.

“He is great to work under and he’s trusted me to play in different positions for the first team.

“So having him in charge has helped me a lot.

“The club has been giving young players a chance and you can see there’s a pathway there with a few coming through to the first-team.”

Duncan has experience of wing-back role

Duncan broke into the first team as an attacking player but has also been used as a wing-back at times this season.

Aberdeen fans may be surprised to see Duncan redeployed in a more defensive role but the teenager says the position is not alien to him.

He said: “I used to be a wing-back when I was younger so it’s not completely different for me, I have played there before.

“It is a good thing to be able to play in various positions because I can cover when someone gets injured or the gaffer wants to make changes.

“I mainly played midfield or right-wing for him before, but I think I did it a couple of times.

“So he knows he can put me in there and I will be able to do it.

“It is a hard position because it’s physically demanding at times, but I enjoy it because you get plenty of the ball.

“And as someone who likes to go forward, I can do that playing that role.”

Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie. Image: SNS.

Duncan is also grateful for the guidance and support of two senior players in helping him adapt to his new role at first-team level.

He said: “Defensively the boys have been great helping me out, the ones at the back as well as Graeme Shinnie and Jonny Hayes.

“They have both been really helpful. Having those older boys in the dressing-room to help the younger ones has been really good.

“They all give advice, telling me to work hard. Graeme has told me that ability only gets you so far and hard work is what takes your game up a level.”

Aberdeen aiming for three-in-a-row

Duncan and his team-mates will be looking to continue their winning run when they welcome Motherwell to Pittodrie on Wednesday.

The Dons go into the match against the Steelmen chasing their third league victory in a row after Saturday’s Premiership trip to Dens Park to face Dundee was postponed.

Duncan said: “It was really frustrating to travel down and be changed for the match then it gets called off.

“But there was nothing we could do, the ref decided it wasn’t playable.

“We were all ready to go out for the warm up in 20 minutes or so then were told it was off.

“The pitch didn’t look great when we were on it when we arrived and apparently the ball wasn’t bouncing much when the ref tried it.

“It’s unfortunate because we wanted to be playing and hopefully building more momentum.”

On tonight’s match against Well, Duncan added: “The last two games at home in the league we’ve won, so we’re looking forward to the Motherwell game now.

“We want to make it three in a row and make Pittodrie somewhere people don’t like playing.

“We want to make it a fortress and have people not wanting to play us there.”

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