A talented youngster from Nesting is to move to the mainland to pursue his dream of becoming a professional footballer with Aberdeen after experiencing an excellent first year with the club.
Cameron Gibbs, who turned 14 in April, has been awarded a new one-year deal with the Scottish Premier League side after making a major contribution to his youth level side’s fortunes in his debut season. He had previously been on the books of Inverness Caley Thistle.
The under-14 side for which he became a first-team regular had a phenomenal run of results, winning 22 of their 26 SPL friendly fixtures and losing only once, 4-3 to Glasgow Rangers. They finished the season with seven successive wins, including a 7-4 triumph over Glasgow Celtic on the final day, 30th May.
Cameron – who has been playing in central midfield, central defence and at full-back – scored six goals over the course of the season. He got on the score sheet twice in a 7-0 victory over Stenhousemuir, recorded another two in a 3-0 win against Dunfermline and also scored in a 2-1 success against St Mirren and a 9-0 hammering of Raith Rovers.
He and his family have had to make major sacrifices in order for him to train and play on the mainland every weekend throughout the winter. Holidays apart, each Friday over the past nine months has seen Cameron attend school in Lerwick for morning classes before flying to Aberdeen and taking another two lessons at Pittodrie Stadium before training in the evenings and then a game every Sunday, before getting up at 5am on Monday mornings to make sure he was back in time for the start of the new school week.
His father Martin Gibbs, a builder who coaches football locally, said Cameron would be moving to Bridge of Don with his mother, Sally, and sister Madison in time for the new season in August. Martin will stay in Shetland with their other daughter, Shannon, and will commute to visit whenever possible.
Martin said: “It’s a massive commitment for a young boy. [The coaches] indicated that for Cameron to possibly achieve his goal, to be a football player, he would progress better getting the same training as the rest of the team, which is three or four times a week.”
He will now attend Oldmachar Academy in Bridge of Don, where for one day each week he will leave school at lunchtime to brush up on his football skills before catching up on his schoolwork at Pittodrie in the early evening. Cameron will also train regularly in the evenings.
The one-year deal is the maximum that players of his age can be signed for and Martin said he was eager to give Cameron – who will be turning out for Spurs this summer – every possible chance of achieving his ultimate goal. “It is a great opportunity. Nothing might come of it, there’s no pressure on.”
Martin said the family were indebted to those who had helped out logistically since last August, singling out for thanks airline Flybe, Star Rent-a-Car, Brudolff Hotels for providing accommodation in Aberdeen and local building firm Elphinstone & Howarth for financial assistance. “If they hadn’t all helped us out this couldn’t have happened,” he said.