Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes believes Andy Considine can rack up many more games after smashing into the club’s all-time top-five appearance-makers.
The Scotland international moved level on 535 appearances with Gothenburg Great Jim Leighton when starting the 2-1 Betfred Cup loss at St Mirren.
Considine will move clear of Aberdeen legend Leighton if, as expected, McInnes picks him to play against St Mirren in the Premiership on Saturday.
The 33-year-old is closing in on former Dons captain and Scotland international Stewart McKimmie, who made 561 club appearances.
Considine’s current contract expires at the end of this season, but has an appearance-related clause which, if met, will trigger an extra year.
The long-serving defender is well on track to meet this and extend his time at the club until summer 2022.
McInnes said: “There is no reason why Andy can’t continue being a prominent player for Aberdeen in the next couple of seasons.
“There is no sign of Andy letting up and he has many games ahead of him.
“I think it is one of the few positions on the pitch, along with goalkeeper and centre-midfield, where as long as you have enough legs around about you then you can play a bit longer.
“Certainly, goalkeepers and centre-back would be positions where you can still perform with the right system and players around about you.
“The key is to keep training and not to miss long spells through injury.
“Andy has come through a couple of serious injuries in his career, but thankfully he has kept those injuries to a minimum in the last while.
“That is important for every player, but especially as you get older.”
With the appearance-related clause expected to be activated, Considine will have at least another 18 months at Pittodrie.
That could see him elevated into the upper echelons of the club’s top three all-time appearances by overtaking legendary keeper Bobby Clark, who is on 595 appearances.
Considine won the 2014 League Cup under McInnes and has been an integral part of his side.
The defender recently made his international breakthrough under Scotland boss Steve Clarke this season, earning three caps, all starts.
McInnes said: “I have worked with Andy for almost eight years now.
“Andy has benefited possibly from playing with maybe better teams and better players.
“Andy is one of the ones who has helped develop a culture within the club of what needs to be done – how you need to be a professional footballer.”
Although naturally a centre-back, Considine featured in previous seasons under McInnes primarily at left-back. This season, however, he has featured as left-sided centre-half in a back three.
McInnes said: “Andy’s performance levels have been very strong, whether he is playing at centre-back or left-back.
“The whole world wanted to tell me he couldn’t play left-back, but he won two player of the year awards from there and was brilliant for me.
“His natural position now is to play in the left of a three and he can play in the middle of the three.
“In the last few years of his career, he has moved away from that option at left-back and will now be that option at centre-back for us.”
Influential on the pitch, McInnes insists the defender, now in his 18th season in the Dons squad, is equally important off it.
He said: “Andy leads by example and he is good figurehead for looking at what can be achieved.
“He trains right every time, he is in early and leaves late, he is in the gym and anytime he has a day off he still comes in to do his maintenance.”