Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie is ready to use the late heartache of the 2017 Scottish Cup final to fuel the bid for silverware at Hampden.
Scotland international Shinnie will lead the Dons out in a major showpiece for the second time as captain of his home city club.
The first time was in May 2017 when he was handed the captain’s armband just days before the final against Celtic.
Ryan Jack was stripped of the captaincy on the eve of the final as speculation mounted on his future having rejected a new contract.
Aberdonian Jack would play in the final before signing for Rangers weeks later.
Shinnie’s dream of lifting a trophy with the Dons was shattered when Celtic netted in injury-time to secure a 2-1 win.
The pain of that late defeat, and of how close Aberdeen pushed the treble-winning Hoops in the final, will fire up the 27-year-old.
He said: “Losing the Scottish Cup final to a last-minute goal was tough, very tough.
“It is an experience that you carry with you and you can use that later on.
“You can use that to fire you up in the next final coming up.
“It makes you hungry to go and get your hands on silverware.
“You use those moments of disappointment to make sure you don’t experience them again.”
Shinnie is set to play in his fifth major cup final in Scotland – a third with Aberdeen after two at former club Inverness Caley Thistle.
He has yet to lift silverware with Aberdeen having lost the League Cup and Scottish Cup finals to Celtic in the 2016-17 season.
Ironically, Aberdeen delivered cup final pain to Shinnie in 2014 when he was part of the team who lost in the League Cup final in a penalty shoot-out at Parkhead.
Then, as Inverness captain, he led the Highlanders to Scottish Cup glory with a 2-1 win over Falkirk in the final in 2015.
That was his last act as Caley skipper before moving to Aberdeen.
“This will be my fifth final and I am desperate to get my hands on some silverware with Aberdeen,” he said.
“I have won the Scottish Cup late on with Inverness and experienced the joy of that.
“Now I want to experience that here.”
Shinnie has the distinction of leading two different teams out at Hampden in a national final as captain.
That the captaincy came just days after team-mate Jack had been stripped of the armband before the 2017 Scottish Cup final did not take the sheen off the honour.
He said “Obviously Jacko had all that stuff going on and the gaffer gave me the armband for that cup final. It was a very proud moment for me.”
A number of Dons players will take to the field at Hampden with previous experience in cup finals.
Northern Ireland international winger Niall McGinn, Shay Logan and Andy Considine were part of the team who won the League Cup in 2014.
Shinnie reckons that experience can be vital, although there is still an element of the unknown ahead of any final.
He said: “We have been in these types of games for many years now so a lot of the boys have experienced it.
“However, every final is different.
“Every one is different as you don’t really know what to expect.
“You have experienced the build-up and the atmosphere and whatever else but anything can happen on the day.”
Aberdeen go into the final reeling from a 3-0 defeat to Motherwell at Fir Park.
Shinnie is adamant there will be no repeat at Hampden and is confident the Dons will “turn up” in front of the near 20,000-strong travelling Red Army.
“We need to make sure we turn up and put our stamp on the game and not give it to them too easy.
“We will give it our all in the final and see what happens.”