Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson said he loves being in “the spotlight” at Pittodrie after extending his deal to 2024.
The 19-year-old’s two-year extension was finally announced officially by the Dons yesterday.
Ex-Hamilton player Ferguson had told the Evening Express he was keen on a longer stay during the Reds’ winter break training camp in Dubai, before his dad, former Rangers midfielder Derek, let slip at the weekend that terms had been agreed.
Dons boss Derek McInnes secured the teenager when his Accies deal expired last summer and he has become a first-team mainstay this term, netting an overhead kick at Turf Moor against Burnley in Europa League qualifying and a header at Hampden which sent Aberdeen into the Betfred Cup final at Rangers’ expense.
Ferguson revealed he’s loved his short spell in the Granite City and is glad to have finally put pen to paper, saying: “I’m happy that’s it finally officially announced.
“We’ve been speaking about it for a couple of weeks now, but I’m delighted to get it over the line.
“Everybody kept asking me about it, but it’s out of the road and I can get my head down, work as hard as I can and get as many games under my belt as possible.”
He added: “I’ve enjoyed it. I didn’t realise how big the club was.
“There’s only one club in this city, so you’ve got the full focus and the spotlight.
“I love that side of things.
“It’s been good so far and since day one I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“I’m loving life up here.”
Ferguson joined Aberdeen on the back of just 15 senior games for Hamilton.
A SPFL tribunal eventually ordered the Dons to pay Accies £225,000 in development compensation.
He might have been wet behind the ears when he arrived, but he was always confident he could secure a starting berth in McInnes’ side.
Ferguson said: “I was always quietly confident I could achieve it.
“It’s thanks to the gaffer for having that trust in me and giving me that responsibility to go out and play.
“I’ve repaid him with my performances.”
He admits to seeing the funny side of dad Derek letting slip his new deal had been agreed before the club announced it, revealing it led to an awkward conversation with McInnes in the dressing room after the 2-2 Premiership draw with St Mirren on Saturday.
Derek Ferguson’s radio revelation had been put to McInnes in his post-match media duties.
Ferguson said: “I didn’t know about it after the game.
“The gaffer came in and asked me and I was just oblivious to it – I didn’t know.
“I think my dad was just, obviously, proud it had been agreed and stuff.
“Somebody had asked him about it and he said it. There was no harm done.
“I saw the funny side to it a wee bit.”
The youngster says his family, which also includes former Gers skipper Barry Fergsuon, have always been unrestrained in their support for him.
Ferguson said: “They’re all just really proud, delighted for me – just as they’ve always been.
“They’ve always been supportive of me and I’m just very thankful for that.”
Such is the length of Ferguson’s contract, he’ll be in his mid-20s by the time it runs down – should he remain at Pittodrie.
The Scotland Under-21 international said it’s “weird” to think so far ahead.
Ferguson: “It’s a long time.
“I still see myself as a young boy just now, but by the time the contract’s up I’ll likely see myself as a man.
“It’s a bit weird when I think about it.
“I don’t really think too far ahead, but I’ve committed to myself and to the club.
“It shows I want to spend the next few years here, performing out there.”