Aberdeen Under-20s manager Paul Sheerin was disappointed after the Scottish Youth Cup final, feeling that too many of his players were below-par.
The young Dons were beaten 3-1 by Hibs at Hampden as they looked to be the first side from Pittodrie to win the Youth Cup since 2001.
After the Reds took the lead through Connor McLennan’s fine solo goal Hibs hit back with a Joe MacPherson own goal and strikes from Ryan Porteous and Jamie Gullan winning the cup for the men from Leith.
Sheerin was disappointed that his youngsters were unable to produce their best on the big stage.
He said: “I can’t fault their effort but on the night, the lack of quality let them down. “I know, working with them day in and day out, they’re better than what they showed
“We were loose in the possession at times and when we kept the ball, we looked more of a threat but didn’t do enough.
“That will be the frustration, that nowhere near enough of them turned up.
“Ultimately once you’re here, you want to win it and credit to Hibs, they were the better side on the night.
“We can’t take anything away from them.”
Something that added to Sheerin’s disappointment is that last night’s final was the last chance for this season’s team to win the cup. With the Reserve League replacing the Development League next season the Youth Cup will be for Under-18 teams meaning the majority of his Dons team will be too old for next term’s competition.
Sheerin added: “It’s a sombre dressing room and nothing much has been said – there’s disappointment but we can’t right those wrongs now, not until next year when they give themselves an opportunity as an under-18s squad.
“There’s only three of them that will be left with it changing over to a reserves and an under-18s.
“Unfortunately for some, they won’t get that opportunity but hopefully some of the younger ones have learned from that.”
It all started so well for Aberdeen with McLennan’s superb individual goal putting them ahead on 16 minutes.
The attacker had to be substituted at half-time due a hamstring niggle.
Sheerin felt he was the Dons’ most dangerous player in the first period and was disappointed they didn’t utilise his threat more before half-time.
He said: “Connor felt his hamstring and in fairness, he felt it earlier in the week but was confident of getting through the game.
“Connor is a dynamic player and will pick up bits and bobs.
“He was our most dynamic player in the first half when we got him the ball but we never got it to him enough.
“He lit the game up at times and that showed in his goal.”