Dean Campbell was coached from the age of 4 at former Leicester and Everton FC midfielder Ian Wilson’s coaching schools in Aberdeen. At age 7 he played for Lewis United Youth in the city, at which he was recommended to Aberdeen coach Jim Crawford, who ran an advanced skills centre on behalf of the club. After one season at Lewis’s he was asked into Aberdeen FC’s youth academy programme at age 8 and has remained at the club ever since.
Campbell made his professional debut for Aberdeen in a league match against Celtic on 12 May 2017, aged 16 years, 1 month, 23 days. In doing so he became the youngest ever Aberdeen player, breaking a record previously held by Jack Grimmer and also became the first player from the Scottish Football Association’s performance school programme to make their senior competative debut. Earlier the same day he sat an English exam at his school, Hazlehead Academy.
A few days prior to his debut, Campbell had been named as the club’s Academy ‘Player of the year’ for the third year in succession.