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Ex-Aberdeen trio set for coaching sessions and Q&A in Thurso


By Alan Hendry

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Three former Aberdeen stars are heading for Caithness this weekend to take part in children's coaching sessions and a question-and-answer event.

The visit by Billy Dodds, Duncan Shearer and Brian Irvine will be the first major event of 2024 for AG Coaching, a recently launched venture by Alyn Gunn who is well known for his work as head of coaching at Thurso Football Academy.

About 100 youngsters have signed up for coaching across two days at the Naver all-weather pitch in Thurso.

There will be coaching for children aged three and four on the Saturday only, while the two older age groups – 5-10 and 11-15 – will attend on both Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday evening, the Red Pepper at the Holborn Hotel will be the venue for the question-and-answer event.

"The guys will talk about their time at Aberdeen which I'm sure will include the 1995 League Cup final and the 1990 Scottish Cup final," Alyn said.

Dodds and Shearer were the goalscorers in the 1995 League Cup final when the Dons beat Dundee 2-0. In the 1990 Scottish Cup final, Irvine slotted home the decisive spot-kick as Aberdeen defeated Celtic 9-8 on penalties.

Alyn said: "It's brilliant to be able to welcome these guys to Thurso.

"Billy is someone who I've got to know well over these last few years and he was only too happy to come along to coach the kids.

"With Duncan, it was really a chance meeting with him at an Inverness game in September last year – once I discussed the event with him he was delighted to be asked to come up.

"Brian is someone I was coached by many years ago at Ross County, so I've known him for a number of years and it's always a pleasure to be in his company. I'm sure it will be a great weekend for all."

All three players are former Scotland internationalists.

Dodds was head coach of Inverness Caledonian Thistle for two years, leading the Championship club to the play-off final in 2022 and the Scottish Cup final last season.

In a video message, Dodds said: "I'm really looking forward to my trip to Thurso, to answer any questions you've got for me at the Q&A and also to see how many budding footballers there are up there. I'm sure we'll all have a smashing time."

The weekend events are being sponsored by the Holborn Hotel, Reids Bakery and MLG Electrical Contractor.

AG Coaching got off to a successful start in the autumn with an event involving Ross County and a visit by Marvin Andrews, who played for Rangers, Raith Rovers and Livingston among other clubs and earned 101 caps for Trinidad and Tobago.

Brian Irvine at a Thurso Football Academy event last year along with another ex-Aberdeen player, Theo ten Caat.
Brian Irvine at a Thurso Football Academy event last year along with another ex-Aberdeen player, Theo ten Caat.

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