When you’ve been around Scottish football for as long as Peter Pawlett it’s easy to be viewed as an elder statesman.
However, after signing a new contract at Dundee United until 2023, Pawlett is keen to remind people he’s still got plenty left in the tank.
The former Aberdeen and MK Dons winger, who only recently turned 30, made his Dons debut back in 2009 as an 18-year-old.
Despite coming off the bench a fair amount, this season represents the Englishman’s best haul of appearances since 2014/15.
It is a statistic he credits the restrictive nature of the coronavirus for as he targets more game time in his peak years.
‘I just want to keep producing on the pitch and, hopefully, bring success to the club’
“When lockdown happened I was able to rest my body in areas that it probably needed,” Pawlett explained.
“As a player you get injured and then you are thrown straight back in and your body breaks down elsewhere.
“So lockdown let my body get to the strength it needed to be.
“Little niggles settled down again and I was ready for the season.
“Training has been good this year and our fitness guys have worked us hard. That has really benefited me.
“I’m 30 not 35, so I still have plenty to give and I feel good. I’m settled here and it’s a good group of boys.
“I just want to keep producing on the pitch and, hopefully, bring success to the club.
“We were disappointed to lose the Scottish Cup semi-final but that’s a step in the right direction, getting there and retaining our Premiership status.
“Next year there we have building blocks in place and, hopefully, we can push on and have a more successful season than this year.”
Helping guide young talent all part of the job for Pete
All that said, Pawlett admits he felt old playing alongside Terrors youngsters Logan Chalmers, Louis Appere, Archie Meekison and Kerr Smith against Motherwell on Wednesday night.
He reflected on his own experience of breaking through the ranks at Pittodrie as he revealed the leadership role he and other senior members of the United squad play.
Pawlett added: “It’s really exciting and we have a good batch of players coming through.
“They have all been waiting for their opportunity and against Motherwell they rightly got plenty of plaudits.
“Archie, Kerr, Logan and Louis are all young so we have a lot of good up and coming players in the ranks. It’s exciting to see, definitely.
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“Looking at them, it makes me feel old! It’s unbelievable how quickly your career goes by.
“We have all had that time in our career when you break onto the scene, so if we can help them on the pitch then we will do that.
“Even the odd little comment to them can help them to relax.
“I remember at Aberdeen, Jimmy Calderwood gave me my debut and the likes of Scott Severin, Jamie Smith, Barry Nicholson and Sone Aluko were all really helpful to me.
“They were all top players and I was so grateful for what they gave me in the early part of my career.”
Chalmers ‘will get fans off their seats’
Pawlett, formerly a wing wizard himself, reserved special praise for tricky wide man Chalmers.
“Logan has more tricks than me that’s for sure,” he continued.
“I was more of the kick it and run type at his age but he has quality.
“I like to see him on the right-hand side where he can come in on his left foot and deliver from there.
“We saw that against Motherwell the other night, with the left foot he has. He can cut people open with his deliveries.
“He does the little chop to send the defender the opposite way. Fair play to him, he’s a good player.
“He is the type of player who will get fans off their seats.
“He excites us and we play alongside him, he gets everyone going.
“He is nice to watch and it’s easy on the eye. He is a good lad to play with.
“When he is manipulating the ball, you can make runs and he will find you.
“Logan is a great prospect but he is a great lad as well.
“He comes in and gets on with his work and it’s good he has that level head.”