Key players have departed, but Aberdeen defender Shay Logan is convinced the new squad is capable of taking the Dons to the group stages of the Europa League.
Midfielders Jonny Hayes, Niall McGinn, Ryan Jack and Peter Pawlett and defender Ash Taylor have all moved on since the Scottish Cup final.
Manager Derek McInnes has brought in new faces in midfielders Greg Tansey and Ryan Christie and forward Greg Stewart and Nicky Maynard and Logan is confident the evolving team can continue to challenge on all fronts.
He said: “I wouldn’t say it’s a second phase. Every year the team changes one way or other. Three of four players leave, three of four come in.
“Don’t get me wrong, we are going to miss Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn’s contribution, but we’ve got players in who will stamp their authority.
“You can’t say they will be a real loss until the season finishes. We have had a good pre-season, results have gone well, better than a year ago, and everyone is looking sharp, so we are in good stead for the season.”
While the Aberdeen squad has undergone several changes Logan is in no rush to leave and signed a two-year contract extension on Tuesday to extend his stay at Pittodrie until the summer of 2020.
The Dons finished runners-up in all three competitions last season and the 29 year-old is confident of adding to the League Cup he won with the club in his first season at Pittodrie in 2014.
When asked what progress for his side would be Logan said: “We want to be in cup finals, don’t we? We want to keep challenging for them and run Celtic as close as we can for the league because they are the team which will be up there.
“They have the resources and a lot of good players, and coming off the back of last season they will be high in confidence.
“However, we want to push them and see where that takes it.
“As for the Europa League, the group stages would be amazing. We have the team to get there. Last year was a disappointment because of the way we lost to Maribor. Since I’ve been at the club Adam Rooney has never missed a penalty and he missed one there and then we lost one of the weirdest own goals you will ever see in the 90th minute.
“Getting to the group to the group stages would show massive progress for our squad.”
NK Siroki Brijeg stand between Aberdeen and a place in the third qualifying round of the competition as the Dons get their campaign underway at Pittodrie tonight.
While respectful of the opponents, full back Logan is confident his side can progress.
He said: “We watched a little bit of them this morning and we also watched their last game against Ordabasy.
“We can watch as many DVDs as you want but we won’t know what they are like until the match.
“We have our plan and let’s see if we can execute that.
“We want to stamp our game on them here and then go over there and bring the tie to a close.”
Logan’s commitment to the cause is all the more remarkable considering he was pondering whether to call time on his career in Scotland.
With three young children in the north-west of England Logan has tried to balance parenthood with his career, but the support of his club convinced him to extend his Dons career. He said: “I’m more than happy to do a deal.
“I thought I was done and dusted after the first six months.
‘It’s now going to be six years by the end of this deal.
“When this opportunity came up to come up here the manager phoned me and I was here within two days and then the next thing I was playing in a cup semi-final.
“The rest is history.
“I’m more than happy up here.
“I’ve been happy with the football. The club has been more than generous to me in a lot of ways. I just felt it was the best thing to do in signing a new deal.”