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His brother got released last year and joined Cove
Article from 2019 from the AFC website below, maybe shows his ambition to have a good career
Ethan Ross was again named on the bench last week against Livingston. It is reward for his performances this season at Youth and Reserve level. As part of our Developing Dons series in Red Matchday, we sat down with the U18s captain recently.
Now into his second full season as a professional at Pittodrie, Ethan possesses all the traits to make it in the game. He’s confident, assured, driven to succeed and most importantly is a very good football player.
“I signed when I was U11s after coming in from Kintore for a trial. I came through the SFA Performance School and that prepared me and others for life as a professional. You’re training every single day with the boys at Aberdeen and then we’d come back and do training at night. It was tough, but you get on with it and it’s really benefited me.”
“I never thought much about my future until I was maybe fourteen or fifteen and I then reckoned I had a really good chance. That was probably around the time I started getting into Scotland squads so ever since then I’ve been trying to push on as much as I can.”
At that tender age of 14, Ethan made his debut for the Development side against Ross County, playing alongside Scott McKenna back in 2016. Since then, the restructuring of academy football in Scotland has resulted in a new U18 league as well as the return of reserve football, which has opened the door for the likes of Ethan to experience playing against older pros as well as developing alongside players his own age. Despite only being 17 years old, he is one of the most experienced players in the U18 side and this season has been given the armband by coaches Barry Robson and Scott Anderson.
“I’m officially captain. Connor Barron has had it a couple of times, but that’s only when I’m not playing. It’s good to be skipper and it feels a little bit different. When it’s the reserves it’s Deano so I like to listen and take in advice from him. It comes from Paul (Sheerin) who tells Dean who then passes it to me. At U18s level I just have to take ownership and I enjoy that.”
“Barry and Scott have been great with me. As captain they come to me for most things and we’ve got a good team this year despite it being one of the younger ones.
“We’ve had some of the players like Christ Forrester, Stephen Gleeson and Greg Tansey playing alongside us in the reserves so that’s helped us massively and you also find yourselves coming up against better players. I feel this season I’m coming out my shell more and feel if I need to tell someone to do something then I’m not afraid. When we played against Kilmarnock we came up amongst Kris Boyd this season and have played against other experienced players so there’s new challenges. Hopefully I can take that into my development when playing for the U18s.”
Ethan was able to come straight into Paul Sheerin’s Development squad last season after initially featuring for the U17s. The team were largely successful reaching the Youth Cup Final and only fell away in the final weeks of the league campaign – both to Hibernian. Ethan racked up a number of impressive performances and played his part as The Dons went hunting for silverware.
“At the start all you’re thinking is taking it game by game, but Paul did say it had been too long since an Aberdeen side had reached the Youth Cup Final. With each passing game you add the belief that you’ve got a chance. We made it to the final, but just fell at the last hurdle. We had a really good team last year and I managed to get in and play quite a few games.”
Ethan has played his part in both cup ties this season, scoring against Inverurie in a 5-0 win then more crucially netted a later winner in the fourth round against Motherwell earlier this month.
“The aim for the U18s is to win the cup because a team like Aberdeen should be getting far in the cup. I’d be captain if we got there, despite what Dean Campbell says! The cup feels a bit different because when we were 0-0 at Motherwell and the clock ticked down we knew one goal was going to be enough so there was a real determination. We did that and managed to hold out until the end thanks to my left foot.
This season has seen a number of academy graduates play a key role in crucial wins for the first team with Connor McLennan and Bruce Anderson both scoring. Ethan himself made the bench for the St Mirren game back in September alongside teammates Jack McKenzie and Dean Campbell. Although he didn’t feature, the Inverurie lad is determined it to use it as a foundation to push on.
“The experience of just being there and everything that comes with a first team game compared to reserves is new and you’re always learning. I was training with the first team the day before the game and I probably shouldn’t say this, but I actually saw my name on the board on the gaffer’s wall as it said Ross. I was thinking I was the only fit Ross available! And then he told me I was in the squad. It was just a buzz to be even training and then to see my name on the bench the next day was an even bigger bonus. I’m just looking to push on and on.”
There now appears to be a healthy cycle of young talent emerging closer to the first team squad on a matchday and it’s a testament to them that they have been ahead in the pecking order of some of the more experienced players.
“For us it’s about taking our chance and we all hope one another is able to play well and hold down a regular place. Connor did really well when he came on against Livingston and got man of the match after only 45 minutes. Their involvement allows younger players to play in the reserves and so on so it gives us all a buzz.
“I want to be pushing myself on as much as I can so I can train more with the first team and I can hopefully do that by scoring more goals or getting more assists.”
Throughout his youth career Ethan has been capped at a number of levels for Scotland and recently played for the U18s out in Spain. Despite them being friendlies the experiences of playing against Uzbekistan and France were invaluable and he’s enjoyed meeting up with new teammates while away.
“It’s always good to go away with Scotland and play against other nations as it’s a fresh challenge. I went away and I think I did well by scoring against Uzbekistan. We then played France and they were something else. You can see the difference physically between us. You’re just waiting for the next star to come out that team you’ve just played like an Mbappe. I’ve played with Billy Gilmour of Chelsea for the U17s and he’s a really good player. He’s not the biggest, but works incredibly hard and his technical ability is amazing,”
We have Ethan in for an interview without asking how his brother Seb is doing. The older Ross has spent the first half of the season at League One side Stenhousemuir and continues to train during the week at Pittodrie.
“I’ve only been the once to see him this season. I had the day off one Saturday and made the journey to Airdrie via two trains. Unfortunately, he didn’t get on the park so that wasn’t a good decision from me. I’ve travelled to Motherwell before and didn’t make the squad so I was just sitting there watching in the freezing cold.
Seb’s had good moments and bad moments and that’s what comes with it. He’s done well when he has played, but when he’s gone away with Scotland, Stenhousemuir don’t stop so he’s came back and not been in the team if they’ve played well. He’s enjoying the experience though and is looking to get as many minutes under his belt as he can.”
To round off the interview we asked Ethan on his personal goals for the season.
“You’ve got to set targets for yourself and personally I want to have made my first team debut by the end of the season.”