Young Don Luke Turner believes he will benefit from the experience of playing alongside Ash Taylor.
The Aberdeen defender made his comeback from 15 weeks out with a hamstring problem for the reserves against Inverurie Locos in the Aberdeenshire Shield quarter-final on Tuesday night.
After a 2-2 draw at Harlaw Park the Railwaymen won on penalties.
Alongside Taylor in the centre of the Reds defence was Turner. The 17-year-old Irishman believes it was a valuable lesson to play with an experienced first-team player.
Turner said: “He is a great first-team player – you could see the experience Ash brought to the team and the calmness he brought to the back four.
“He was top quality playing diagonal balls and playing out from the back and that helped the team.
“He is good with young players – as are all the first-team players. He was definitely helping me and the lads on Tuesday.
“Any of the first-team players that drop down to reserves to get game time definitely help us.
“This is my second year with Aberdeen and it’s good because I’m getting game time with the reserves at 17.
“When you’re playing with experienced players like Ash they tell you things and show you things you maybe won’t learn playing with and against people your own age.
“Playing with first-team players gives you more experience so hopefully that helps me.”
Aberdeen reserve manager Paul Sheerin was also delighted to have Taylor involved.
He added: “It was brilliant to have Ash involved and brilliant for the young players to play alongside him.
“We’ve got two 2003s and a 2002 playing alongside Ash. From their point of view it’s great experience.”
And for Ash it was just about getting 90 minutes under his belt.
“The fact he wanted to come and see us and play in the game is testament to Ash’s attitude and it’s brilliant to see him back.”
Turner was disappointed to exit the Shield on spot-kicks.
Playing against 10 men, Sheerin’s side battled back from 2-0 down in the second half to force penalties, but Kevin Hanratty’s miss meant the Dons lost the shoot-out 5-4.
Turner is determined to learn from the defeat and from playing against experienced Highland League players.
The Dubliner said: “I thought we were unlucky at the end, but Inverurie defended well, to be fair to them, and we saw how much it meant to them at the end.
“When we’re young we have to learn from these things.
“Playing senior football is the main thing about playing in the Aberdeenshire Shield.
“The physicality is a big thing compared with Under-18s football.
“You play against bigger players and smarter players who have been around senior football for 10 or 15 years.
“You can take experience from it and if you want to play senior football you need to learn from the experience.
“Even defeats help us because if you win every game you don’t focus on mistakes the same.
“So that defeat shows that if you have a good gameplan and execute it you can win the game because that’s what Inverurie did.
“Sometimes the team with most quality doesn’t always win.”
Aberdeen’s reserves return to action on Saturday when they play Huddersfield’s academy side.