Evening Express

Anderson wants opportunity to lead Aberdeen attack for new campaign

Aberdeen's Bruce Anderson wheels away after he scores the late equaliser against Rangers

Teenage goal hero Bruce Anderson hopes he will be given the opportunity to prove he can lead Aberdeen’s attack this season.

Dons boss Derek McInnes aims to sign a new striker before the transfer window closes in Scotland at the end of the month.

Ideally McInnes wants to bolster his attack ahead of Saturday’s Premiership clash at Dundee.

However, 19-year-old Anderson is determined to prove he can deliver the answer to the Dons’ need to find a centre-forward.

Pittodrie youth system graduate Anderson came off the bench against Rangers to net a superb injury time winner on his first team debut to secure a 1-1 draw.

The only other recognised strikers at Pittodrie are Stevie May, a £400,000 signing last summer, and Sam Cosgrove.

Both have yet to score this season and May netted only five goals in his first campaign at Pittodrie.

Anderson said: “I feel like I have been ready for a while so I am just happy I took my chance.

“I will be ready whenever the manager wants to use me.

“It is just about gaining his trust now. I’m always confident I can score when I get on the field.

“I am glad the manager trusted me enough and hopefully I repaid the favour.

“I have been in the development team for three years now so I feel it’s been a long time coming.

“I am an Aberdeen fan myself so I am delighted that I managed to start my career like that.

“It was a dream come true.

“Does he (manager McInnes) not have to go out and find a new striker?

“No, hopefully not.”

Anderson’s mentor was Adam Rooney, the Reds’ top goal scorer for the previous four seasons who transferred to Salford City in England’s fifth tier for a six figure sum earlier this summer.

Rooney exited Pittodrie having scored 88 goals.

The teen hopes to go on to smash his mentor’s goal record.

Anderson said: “Adam had actually been mentoring me since I came in.

“He took me under his wing so when Adam left I felt I could step up to the plate.

“Hopefully that can happen.

“Every day in training Adam would pass on little things and I would try and copy things from his game. I take them and try to put them into my game.

“We had a good relationship and bounced off one another when we were working together.

“I was gutted to see him go, but then again it is a good chance for me to try to step up to the mark.

“Hopefully I can match his record at the club.”

Anderson spent the first half of last season on loan at Elgin City in League Two and scored six goals in 13 starts.

The life-long Dons supporter netted a hat-trick in the Scottish Youth Cup semi-final defeat of Kilmarnock last season to book a Hampden final for Aberdeen.

“I enjoyed my time at Elgin,” he said.

“This is a big step up but it’s something I relish. It is just about getting minutes now.

“Whether I play against Dundee in the next game is up to the manager but I will be ready if he needs me.

“I always back myself to score goals, that’s just my mentality.

“I just want to keep learning, get better and better and take the chances when they come along.”

Banff-born Anderson was the Dons’ Development Squad player of the year in 2016-17.

He said: “My family are all Aberdeen fans so I am sure they will all be proud. My mum and dad were at the game and I’m sure any of the family who couldn’t make it were watching on television.

“I can’t actually remember much about the goal. The ball dropped and I tried to get it on target.

“Thankfully, it went in and it was an unbelievable feeling to hear the fans cheering.”