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Winger Junior Hoilett hopes to earn long-term Aberdeen contract

New signing Hoilett believes Aberdeen should be 'near the top of the table' and warns every remaining Premiership game must be played with the intensity of a play-off.

New Aberdeen signing Junior Hoilett. Image: SNS.
New Aberdeen signing Junior Hoilett. Image: SNS.

Canada international winger Junior Hoilett aims to earn a long-term deal at Aberdeen

The 33-year-old became interim boss Neil Warnock’s first signing when penning a short-term deal until the end of the season.

Hoilett was a free agent and had been without a club since leaving Vancouver Whitecaps at the end of the 2023 MLS season.

Wing-king Hoilett has racked up more than 150 appearances in the English Premier League and played at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Hoilett played for Warnock at QPR and Cardiff City and answered an SOS from his former gaffer to sign on at the Dons.

Warnock is Pittodrie boss until the end of the season while the Donss hierarchy search for a permanent manager for the 2024-25 campaign and beyond.

Hoilett has been so impressed with Aberdeen, he hopes to earn a long-term contract to play under the new manager – whoever that is.

New Aberdeen signing Junior Hoilett pictured at the club’s Cormack Park training complex. Image: SNS.

Asked if he would extend his stay at Pittodrie, he said: “Yes, of course.

“It’s a massive club with passionate fans and great facilities .

“The dressing room are a good bunch of guys and I have enjoyed working with them.

“He (Warnock) didn’t have to sell it one bit as it was great to come up here and see the facilities and the passionate fans.

“I am happy here and can’t wait to achieve things with this great club.”

Aberdeen players in action during a game against Hibernian FC
Aberdeen new signing Junior Hoilett in action on his debut in the 2-2 draw with Hibs. Image: SNS.

Warnock is a ‘joy to work under’

Hoilett made his Aberdeen debut when coming off the bench in the 2-2 draw with Hibs.

He is in contention to start against fourth-placed Kilmarnock at Rugby Park today.

Hoilett revealed he was on a flight to the Granite City the morning after Warnock called to ask him to sign for the Dons.

He insists Warnock is “a joy to work under”.

Neil Warnock with Junior Hoilett during their time at Cardiff City. Image: Shutterstock.

He said: “The gaffer called me on the Wednesday afternoon and asked me to come up and I said: ‘Yeah, of course’.

“Obviously I have worked with him before (QPR and Cardiff), so it was a no-brainer and I got a flight the next morning.

“He knows how to get the best out of his players and his staff.

“He knows how to give you strength and confidence to perform.

“I have played for him at two clubs and we got promoted (to the English Premier League) with Cardiff.

“He is a joy to work under.”

Aberdeen's Junior Hoilett makes his debut during the 2-2 draw with Hibs. Image: SNS
Aberdeen’s Junior Hoilett makes his debut during the 2-2 draw with Hibs. Image: SNS.

Training with Reading as free agent

Hoilett last played in November last year when Vancouver lost out in a three-match play-off to Los Angeles FC.

He kept himself fit in the subsequent three months by training with former club, English League One Reading.

Junior Hoilett (30) of Aberdeen is substituted on for Duk for his debut. Image: Shutterstock
Junior Hoilett (30) of Aberdeen is substituted on for Duk for his debut. Image: Shutterstock.

Hoilett said: “The play-offs in the MLS finished in November.

“However, I have been back over training with Reading in the last few months to keep fit and in shape.

“I had a good time over there.

“We got to the play offs, but got knocked out in the first round.”

‘Near the top of the table is where this club deserves to be’

The clash against Kilmarnock holds huge significance in the Dons’ bid to salvage some modicum of success from a disappointing Premiership campaign.

Kilmarnock, managed by former Dons boss Derek McInnes, currently sit fourth in the table – 10 points ahead of Aberdeen.

The Dons are languishing in eighth spot and Hoilett reckons every remaining league match will have the intensity of a play-off.

Junior Hoilett of Aberdeen comes on to make his debut against Hibs. Image: Shutterstock
Junior Hoilett of Aberdeen comes on to make his debut against Hibs. Image: Shutterstock.

He said: “Near the top of the table is where this club deserves to be.

“So every game is important for us to perform to a high level and get the points to push us up the table.

“Every game will have a play-off feel and I am excited to help the team try and achieve that goal.”

No concerns about Rugby Park pitch

The high-stakes Premiership clash will be played on the Rugby Park artificial surface.

Hoilett has no problems with the surface as the winger reckons he’ll have played on far worse during international duty.

Aberdeen's Nicky Devlin celebrates after making it 1-1 against Hibs. Image: SNS
Aberdeen’s Nicky Devlin celebrates after making it 1-1 against Hibs. Image: SNS.

He said: “They have filled me in this week about the pitch.

“But I am used to it as I played on one in Vancouver – hopefully it is better than the one there.

“I’ve played on worse in the national team, so I am sure it will be fine.”

“I know Kilmarnock are doing well this season.

“It will be a fight and we will have to go down there, nullify their strengths and work on ours get the maximum points.”

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