Midfielder Lewis Ferguson today insisted his award-winning debut season is payback for the faith shown in him by boss Derek McInnes.
The 19-year-old picked up the Evening Express Aberdeen FC Player of the Year Award for his outstanding campaign.
Our award completed a treble success as the teen also secured the Young Player of the Year and Goal of the Season gongs at the club’s annual awards ceremony.
Ferguson arrived from Hamilton last summer having played just 13 games at first-team level.
McInnes saw enough in the teen during pre-season last summer to pitch him in for a debut in the opening game of the campaign – a 1-1 Europa League draw with Burnley at Pittodrie.
Ferguson has started every game he has been available for since then and will make his 44th start of the season at Hibs tomorrow.
The teen is targeting a victory at Easter Road in the bid to secure more continental action with qualification for the Europa League.
Ferguson said: “The gaffer had that trust in me as a young boy and the confidence in me that I could fit right into the team.
“He has stuck by me and the only way I could really thank him for that is by putting in good performances.
“These awards are credit to the gaffer for having that trust.
“I am delighted to win the Evening Express Aberdeen FC Player of the Year award.
“It is an honour to get it.
“I received two awards at the Aberdeen FC annual awards so to get this one as well is fantastic.
“It sums up the season for me which has been great.”
Ferguson was also shortlisted for both the PFA Scotland and Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year award.
He said: “When I first came to Aberdeen I never really had a proper goal apart from playing as many games as I could for the first team.
“It has gone a lot better than I expected as I thought I would only play about half the games.
“I have played in every game I have been available for.”
Aberdeen initially signed Ferguson on a three-year deal.
Following his explosive start to his Pittodrie career Hamilton wanted around £1 million in development compensation while the Dons are understood to have offered around £100,000.
With no compromise met, the matter went to an SPFL tribunal with the Dons ordered to pay around £220,000. It has been bargain of the season.
Ferguson announced his arrival in spectacular style with a stunning overhead kick in the 3-1 Europa League defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor.
He hasn’t looked back since and signed an extended contract until summer 2024. He wants to end his memorable debut campaign having secured Europe.
Ferguson said: “Making my debut against Burnley was massive for me because I had only played a handful of first-team games for Hamilton. I came up to Aberdeen and was straight into a Euro tie against an English Premier League side.
“The aim of the club is to get to Europe. At the start of each campaign we set out targets which is to do well in the cups and secure a European spot.
“We have done reasonably well in the cups and just need that last push to get Europe.”
Aberdeen will call time on the season at Easter Road tomorrow.
Kilmarnock, who host Rangers, hold the third spot in the Premiership that guarantees European qualification.
The Rugby Park hold the upper hand by virtue of superior goal difference. Aberdeen’s automatic qualification is out of their own hands because if Kilmarnock win, the Reds will finish fourth.
They will then have to wait for the Scottish Cup final. If Celtic beat Hearts to retain the trophy Aberdeen will qualify for Europe by finishing fourth.
Ferguson said: “Obviously all we can influence is putting three points on the board.
“Then after the Hibs game we can look elsewhere.
“We just have to take care of business first and hope the result at Kilmarnock goes our way so that we can get into Europe.”