Mc Kenna said: “I try to play golf and will hopefully play in the golf tournament.
“Andy won it last year but there is no chance of beating him – he is the top boy at golf.” The winter break in Dubai marks both the end of 2017 and the beginning of the new year.
“Everyone being out in Dubai when I was at Ayr didn’t make it worse as I was on loan to gain experience.” Whilst he was struggling to get a start for a team rooted at the bottom of the Championship last season and the Reds were in Dubai, did he have any doubts?
“I remember the turn of the year as I played against Queen of the south in a boring 0-0 draw down at Palmerston in the absolute freezing cold, in horrendous wind.“When Aberdeen were out in Dubai I played against Falkirk away in a 1-1 draw and I gave away a penalty.” Mc Kenna rattled off the dates and scores of those games from last season as if they were burned in his mind.“If you look at the first half of 2017 I was struggling a wee bit and was out on loan at Ayr,” he said.“I wasn’t playing every week and I also wasn’t playing well.Now as he trains in the United Arab Emirates, Mc Kenna has completed a remarkable rise to become a Dons regular.
Since breaking into the first team for the 1-0 win over Motherwell in September he has started 15 of 16 games.
The only match he missed was the 3-0 loss to Celtic having sustained a tight calf.
As he watched from the sidelines at Parkhead he was gripped by a fear he would not get back into the side.
“As a team our main focus has to be on finishing second again and just trying to get away from the ones chasing us,” he said. “We got a massive result against Hibs recently (4-1 win at Pittodrie) which put a wee bit of daylight between us.
“Now we just have to keep that going and hopefully finish second again. “Obviously, we have St Mirren in the cup in our first game back from Dubai.
“My calf was just too tight for that game and it was too much of a risk to take.