Former Caley Thistle skipper Gary Warren reckons Aaron Doran deserves to be named new club captain.
The Caley Jags will need to appoint a new skipper in the wake of Carl Tremarco’s departure, with Warren pointing to Doran’s loyalty and mental toughness to come back from two career-threatening injuries.
Doran had knee surgery during the 2015-16 season and towards the end of the 2016-17 campaign, with some questioning whether he would return at the same level.
However in his last two seasons, Doran has played 83 times for the club, scoring 20 goals and adding 12 assists. He has remained a consistent pick under manager John Robertson and had been vice-captain to Tremarco for the past two seasons.
Warren, who captain between 2016 and 2018, believes Doran should be rewarded with a stint with the armband.
He said: “He’s a tough character; he’s taken knocks and got back up again. He’s had to overcome a lot of things. His injuries would have written off 90 per cent of footballers but he’s shown the character to come back and come back to where he was before.
“He’s one of the toughest characters around. You don’t have to be a shouter, a ranter and raver. He’s someone who came back from life-changing operations and still came back with a smile on his face, day in, day out.
“Unless you’ve been in the game, you can’t describe the uncertainty you have and the doubts in your head with a long-term injury. He would have gone through that and to come out the other side and still be playing shows where his heart is.
“It would be good to see him take over as captain. He’s still got the quality and class at that level to change games. He’s been there a lot longer than most people; you can talk about loyalty but he’s made a home there.”
Doran first joined Inverness on loan from Blackburn Rovers in January 2011, before penning a permanent deal that summer. With Tremarco’s departure, only Doran, James Vincent and Cammy Mackay remain from the 2015 Scottish Cup winning side.
Warren reckons Tremarco deserves his opportunity at Ross County and says the fact he was not offered a deal by Caley Thistle is part of a wider problem in football.
He added: “He’s thoroughly deserved it. He’s been up there seven years now and put his heart and soul into the club. Him going over the bridge just shows how much he’s got left in him.
“People may use age as an excuse but that doesn’t matter – just look at the facts. He still played a lot of games last year.
“I think that’s general in football at the moment. Players giving unbelievable service, uprooting families, doing a lot of good things for clubs and holding them close to their hearts. Guys like Carl and David Raven can’t get opportunities like that. It shouldn’t just be for their playing careers but their characters as well.
“But that’s the ugly side of the game I’m not too fond of. They say there’s no loyalty in football but there should be.”