Talented left-back Graeme Shinnie is enjoying life at hometown club Aberdeen, but the hard-working defender is looking to push on this season and break into Gordon Strachan’s Scotland side.
The #SPFLTrophyTour stopped off in the Granite City, and we caught up with the Dons dynamo, who talked us through the “great feeling” of returning to his hometown club, the “dream” of playing for Scotland with his brother, and much more…
LN: You and the Inverness team have started the campaign very well. How do you think you’re and Aberdeen are going to get on in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season?
GS: We’ve started well. We had a tough European campaign but feel we played very well in the Europa League. There were a few difficult games to start the season, especially when you’re balancing that with the travelling, but getting the first win over Partick Thistle at the weekend was great for us.
LN: You’ve got Celtic at the weekend at Parkhead. How do you feel going into that one?
GS: It’s a game that you look out for. And it’s one I always enjoy because it’s a big test and opportunity as a player.
We’re still early in the season so I don’t think there’s too much pressure on us going down there, but we’re always very motivated to go down there and perform well and hopefully come away with a good result. And the longer our unbeaten run can continue, the better.
LN: You were called into Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad last year, but you’re waiting on your debut for the senior side. Are you confident of forcing your way into the national side during this season?
GS: It’s an ongoing push for me. Every time a squad’s announced, I’m there or thereabouts. It’s just a case of working as hard as I can and trying to get my form to the best I can for Aberdeen, and see where that takes me. That’s as much as I can do.
LN: Obviously you were born and brought up in Aberdeen. How does it feel playing for your hometown club?
GS: It’s been a great experience. Coming back here last year was lovely, and a lot of the Aberdeen fans were tweeting me saying how happy they were to have me back – which was a great feeling.
We had a strong campaign last time out, and it was an enjoyable one for me personally – and I think I found some good form. And I think we have the potential to kick on as a side this season.
LN: Another man back in familiar pastures is your brother Andrew, who has returned to the Ladbrokes SPFL with Hibernian. How do you think he – and Hibs will get on this season?
GS: I think they’ll win the Ladbrokes Championship comfortably. Hibs have a great squad, with some really top-class players like Jason Cummings.
Andrew didn’t get the game time he wanted at Birmingham City, but I’m sure he’ll offer a lot to Hibs this season and be a regular fixture in their side. It seems a good fit for him and I’m sure he’ll really enjoy his football at Easter Road.
LN: Would you like to play alongside him in a Scotland shirt?
GS: That would be a dream come true!
It’s something the both of us would love. We played together at Inverness, which was a great experience, and it would be incredible to team up for Scotland.
Aberdeen are 5/1 to win at Celtic Park on Saturday, as they search for a third victory in five meetings with the Hoops.
Meanwhile, Dons fans can also back Derek McInnes’ men to lift the Ladbrokes Premiership trophy at 20/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing