Returning Chris Clark hopes to revitalise Aberdeen

Chris Clark
Clark spent 11 years with Aberdeen before leaving for Plymouth

Chris Clark hopes his return to Aberdeen can help the club enjoy the kind of success they had during his first spell at Pittodrie.

Clark has re-joined his hometown club on a free transfer from Plymouth.

"I've supported the club since a young age and it was always the first result I looked for," Clark told BBC Scotland.

"It was difficult to see the team in the lower half (of the table) and it'll be nice to be in the challenge of pushing for that top six."

When the midfielder, now 30, left the Dons they were in Europe and regularly finishing in the Scottish Premier League's top six.

However, Aberdeen have finished the last two seasons in the bottom half of the division.

"It's good to be back," said Clark. "A lot's changed since I was last here so I'm looking forward to working with the new management and new players.

"You can't always be at that level but that's something that everyone's got to aim for and it's a challenge for everyone to get back to that level.

"Craig Brown and Archie Knox have got a wealth of experience and when they came in, they gave the place a huge lift.

"There's a lot of good young players in this squad, I've heard a lot about them. It's going to be really good working with everyone."

During his time with Plymouth, the Pilgrims went into administration and Clark was struck at how the local community rallied down to support the club.

Archie Knox and Craig Brown
Knox and Brown have brought Clark back to Aberdeen

"I wish them all the best," he said. "It was a mixed time, you learn so much from it and you can only come out of those situations stronger.

"It was hard for everyone and it's not just the players or the coaching staff, it goes right down to everyone working in offices, it goes down to people that work on matchdays.

"The team were struggling as well but the support that the fans showed was really touching; it really humbled the players. It was fantastic, they clapped us off win, lose or draw.

"They realised what everyone was going through at the club and they actually took upon themselves to do certain things to raise money for the club."

Clark turned down the chance to join Kilmarnock before accepting Aberdeen's offer and is hoping his experience can help the club improve upon last season's ninth-place finish.

"It was a decision for myself and for the family," added Clark. "It's the right decision at the end of the day.

"I was out of contract, I had had a couple of offers. It was really pleasing when Aberdeen made the call. I was delighted to sign again.

"It's well publicised how the Scottish game has fallen over the years. Attendances are down, a lot of teams' budgets are low. Everyone seems to be in the same boat.

"It's just important that we go about things the right way and just enjoy our football and make sure that Aberdeen are one of the stronger sides again."

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