Jimmy Thelin outlines Aberdeen FC three year plan as he sets sights on regular European football

Jimmy Thelin refused to make wild predictions and promises but the new Aberdeen boss has already set sights on a European return at Dons.

A dismal domestic season last term means the Pittodrie men missed out on continental qualification. But Thelin, heading off next week for a training camp with his new side in Portugal, wants to get Aberdeen back challenging in Scotland and to make sure that European football is an annual thing.

The Swede said: “You cannot promise anything but we will have some talks with the squad when we go to the camp. My hope is that we take the steps and be stable on the European spots and try to achieve something. What I can promise is that we will do everything we can to get better and to grow as a team and a club. And when you do that, that is when you get results. So we have to stick to that. Sitting here on the first day and promising a lot of things is not a good way.”

Aberdeen made the group stages of European football for only the second time last season. That’s been the only time since Derek McInnes’ departure, after leading them into Europe for eight seasons on the bounce.

Dons have seen Stephen Glass, Jim Goodwin and Barry Robson all come and go since with an acceptance around the club that there has to be more patience shown to Thelin. The new man has insisted it is a long-term project and he has the next three years set out.

Thelin said: “We have had a good talk, Alan Burrows (chief executive), Steven Gunn (director of football), Dave Cormack (chairman) and myself about what we want to achieve. The contract is for three years and we have a three year plan of how we want to do things. Do it a little bit better every year. That is the starting point from today. Going forward and not looking back.”

Thelin built up Elfsborg to being one of the top teams in Sweden while also making some big sales, selling Gustaf Lagerbielke to Celtic and Hakon Valdimarsson to Brentford. He plans to help Dons make some serious money in the transfer market.

He said: “It is important for every club nowadays. It is crucial to keep growing and attracting new players here to see that they can take a journey. Aberdeen have already started as they have already sold some players.

"That is also one way I like the job, how they think about this. Let’s see, but hopefully we can get some young players from here, develop them first of all, have them achieve something with us and then they move on.”