Aberdeen and Stephen Glass will be among the first clubs to set foot into Uefa’s new club competition, the Europa Conference League.
Designed to open up European competition to a greater number of clubs across the continent, it presents the chance of group-stage football up until Christmas.
This is something which has eluded Aberdeen in the Europa League, given their several near-misses during the Derek McInnes era.
However, it is not the competition of minnows which it was first cracked up to be.
A team from each of the top five leagues – England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France – will enter at the play-off round, while two teams from Portugal, Russia, Belgium, Turkey and Netherlands will also take part.
Its initial reputation, then, would appear to be misleading.
“I would agree with that,” said Glass. “It is not the Champions League and is the second one after the Europa League, basically what the Cup Winners’ Cup used to be.
“I don’t think people would downplay what the Cup Winners’ Cup or Uefa Cup means to people. Whichever one you want to say is the higher profile.
“There are good number of teams in it, some high-profile ones and Europe is always great to play in.
“It was always enjoyable as a player, so I am sure the players are looking forward to it and hoping to prolong it as long as possible.”
The Dons will enter at the second round of the competition, with three ties to be navigated before they can reach the group stage.
Losers from the first qualifying round of the Champions League will drop in at that stage, with cup winners from countries such as Romania, Croatia, Switzerland and Sweden.
There is still a fair bit for Glass to learn about the competition, with its final entrants to be confirmed in June.
“Not in terms of team research, because we don’t know who will be in it yet, but I know the detail of it and I know we need to win three ties to get into the group stages, which is what we’re going to aim to do,” said Glass. “We know when it starts, but that’s really the depth of what we’ve looked at at the minute.
“I think, come the end of the season, we’ll have a list of teams that we can play against and then you start doing a bit more research on the probable and possible teams, so you’ve got less work when the draw is actually made. I think there will be a lot of planning on that aspect.”
Aberdeen players will return for pre-season training ready for the build-up to the European ties, something which they have become accustomed to over the last seven years.
“The players will get about four or five weeks,” Glass added. “Not totally off though as there will be programmes that they will be hit with a couple of weeks before we come in to prepare for what we are going to train like.
“As a staff it has already started really. It started Saturday night after the whistle blows (on the last day of the season) as we will start thinking about what’s next.
“I am already discovering that at this level that it is non-stop. I was up at 3 after the Aberdeen and Hibs game. I couldn’t sleep, so I sat and watched it.
“It is non-stop and it is all consuming, but I am loving it. Summer is not happening.”