Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass believes the club’s £13 million training facility will help his rebuilt squad start the season with a bang.
Glass has confirmed the Dons will be based at Cormack Park during pre-season as he readies his squad to compete in Europe and domestically.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Aberdeen had travelled overseas for training camps and tours.
Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes used Cork and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland as pre-season bases, while his predecessor Craig Brown travelled to Germany and Holland.
However, Glass will use club’s own state-of-the-art facilities to ensure his new-look squad is up to speed for the season opener in the Uefa Conference League second qualifying round on July 22.
With coronavirus restrictions still in place and travel more problematic, Glass wants to remain in the Dons’ bio-secure bubble at Cormack Park to reduce risk and travel time.
He said: “We have a great facility here in Cormack Park, so this year more than any other I don’t see the sense in taking the group away.
“We will do our work here.
“Even in going to England or Ireland, you can’t plan right now based on what the rules would be because we would be guessing.
“However, we can control what we can do at the facility we have here.
“We can alter the environment here to suit ourselves.
“So it is important we use everything that we can to help us build for next season.
“I think staying here gives us that best opportunity.”
The facility was initially budgeted at £10m, but that figure rose to £13m as the Dons opted to upgrade one of the professional pitches to a hybrid surface with undersoil heating.
That hybrid surface is used by English Premier League clubs.
Aberdeen also added one full-size and a half-size pitch on top of the initial design.
Cormack Park features two floodlit 3G surfaces, three training pitches and two grass parks – it offers Glass and his squad everything they need for the month of pre-season preparation before the start of the campaign.
Glass has already added four new signings to his squad with Scott Brown (Celtic), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Livingston) and Gary Woods (Oldham) all reaching pre-contract agreements to join the Dons.
They will officially join on two-year contracts when the transfer window opens on June 1.
More signings are imminent and Glass has already held talks with former Aberdeen defender Clark Robertson about a potential return to Pittodrie.
Robertson, 27, will be a free agent as his contract with Rotherham, recently relegated from the Championship, is set to expire.
Aberdeen face competition from Israeli side Hapoel Jerusalem who have also opened talks with Robertson with Portsmouth and Plymouth also interested in the centre-back.
The Dons have also put in a request to strategic partners Atlanta United regarding a loan deal for right back Jack Gurr.
Also on Glass’ summer signing radar is St Mirren attacking midfielder Jamie McGrath and Hibs’ Australian international midfielder Jackson Irvine.
McGrath has a year left on his St Mirren contract and it would take a significant six-figure sum to temp the Buddies to sell if the Dons were to make their interest concrete.
Irvine is set to be a free agent, but Hibs have stepped up talks with him on a new deal.
Ideally Glass wants his summer transfer business completed for the start of pre-season to give his new look squad time to gel.
Celtic captain Brown will arrive next month in a player-coach capacity and will help Glass and assistant Allan Russell on the training pitch.
Summer will be short for the Dons as the players, and new signings, will soon start a training regime to ensure they are ready for action when the new-look squad meet up.
Glass said: “The players will get roughly two to three weeks completely off.
“Then there will be a couple of weeks of a programme to build them into the pre-season.
“Then we will be able to hit the ground running at Cormack Park when we come back.”