The recent Play-Off Semi-Final clashes against Leeds United have only reaffirmed incoming midfielder Graeme Shinnie’s decision to join Derby County.
The Scottish international watched the First Leg at Pride Park Stadium from the stands as Kemar Roofe’s only goal of the game gave Marcelo Bielsa’s men the advantage just over a week ago.
However, a remarkable turnaround at Elland Road saw the Rams secure their place in the Sky Bet Championship Final and set up a clash against Aston Villa.
A brace from Jack Marriott and further goals from Mason Mount and Harry Wilson ensured Derby were 4-3 aggregate winners and they will now face the Villans at Wembley Stadium on Monday.
Shinnie, who capped off his Aberdeen career yesterday with a 2-1 victory over Hibernian, saw the celebrations at Elland Road and cannot wait to link up with his team-mates in the summer.
“I was buzzing when I signed and I was excited then; seeing what has happened since and seeing the Leeds game, especially away from home, it was an unbelievable game,” he told dcfc.co.uk.
“It was one of the best games I’ve watched in a long time and I thought Derby played so well in the game.
“I’m excited for the Play-Off Final but watching those sorts of games have given me a real buzz and I can’t wait for the opportunity to get in and amongst it.
“There is no better feeling than watching the celebrations and I just wanted to be in amongst it and be part of it. It has given me the extra hunger and excitement for joining up with the team. There is so much to look forward to for when I come down.”
The 27-year-old is no stranger to Finals himself.
Shinnie has been involved in five in total for both Aberdeen and Inverness Caledonian Thistle and talked about his personal feelings and experiences.
“It’s a lot different to a normal game,” he commented. “Everyone deals with it in different ways. Some people will have a lot of nerves, but I get excited by it.
“I love the buzz of the big games, even some of the Europa League qualifiers we have had here, especially the one against Burnley at the start of the year, it’s games like that that I love.
“The atmospheres that come with it are amazing and it’s exciting times. Everyone has nerves, there are always nerves there, but it’s nervous excitement which is good for players, I think.
“They are days that you love, and you love them more if you win. Unfortunately, at Aberdeen, I have been on the losing ends of Finals to Celtic, but it doesn’t take away the fact they are excellent games to play in.”
With a baby on the way, the midfielder may struggle to be at Wembley Stadium to support his new team-mates against Dean Smith’s side, however, he will still have a keen eye on the game.
“I was thinking of coming to the game but if not, then I will have family around to my house and we will all watch it together and hope for a Derby win,” he said.