Defender Ash Taylor believes having a squad packed with European experience can help Aberdeen’s bid to reach the group stages.
In previous seasons Aberdeen have entered Europe with summer signings who are rookies to continental football.
It can be a culture shock, especially so soon into a career at a new club.
This season that is unlikely to be a factor as Aberdeen are currently in no position to sign new players due to the projected £10million loss from the coronavirus pandemic.
However unlike many other teams during the Covid-19 crisis Aberdeen will not have to undergo a squad rebuild this summer.
The entire first team squad from last season are all signed on permanent deals for next season or beyond now that No.2 keeper Tomas Cerny has penned a one year contract extension.
Only loan players Greg Leigh (NAC Breda) and Jon Gallagher (Atlanta United) have moved on since last season.
Jonny Hayes was signed on a two-year deal to return to Pittodrie on his exit from Celtic but only because the winger deferred his wages for a year to push through the move.
Every first team player has Europa League experience and Taylor believes that will be pivotal, especially with UEFA confirming qualifying ties will now be one legged.
Taylor said: “In terms of European football some boys can come in and they have not played there before.
“However this time we are not rebuilding like Aberdeen have done in the past few seasons.
“A lot of other clubs will have to rebuild by moving players on and getting new players in.
“We don’t have to do that which will be massive benefit in terms of the club and the squad.
“I felt we were hitting our stride before the season was called off so having all the same players here is a real benefit.
“It will be important for us to have that squad together and to have that experience that we have all been through in Europe.”
Aberdeen enter the Europa League at the first qualifying stage on August 27, with the draw made on August 10.
UEFA’s revised format means the club drawn first out of the hat on August 10 will have home advantage in the one game tie.
With Europe a straight one game shoot out, potentially on foreign soil, there can be absolutely no room for error.
Taylor believes the extended pre-season can help their cause.
Aberdeen have previously entered Europe in July before the domestic season begins.
This year, with the Premiership starting on August 1, they will have the benefit of at least three league games before Europe.
Taylor, 30, said: “We are normally straight into Europe after just four weeks to prepare.
“This time we will have had longer and will be able to hit the ground running.”
Aberdeen have failed to qualify for the lucrative group stages in six successive years.
Centre-back Taylor is determined to end that this season.
However he also accepts the Reds must strive for improvements in the Premiership in the upcoming season following two straight fourth placed finishes.
Taylor said: “We need more consistency as a squad week in week out. We were hitting patches during last season and not hitting our full potential.
“We have to push as hard as we can and try to finish as high as we can in the league.
“It was frustrating the season was called off as I thought we were hitting our stride, picking up form at the time and it would have been nice to finish third.”
Taylor suffered a frustrating 2019-20 season with four months out having suffered a hamstring tear in the 1-1 draw with Chikhura Sachkhere in Tbilisi, Georgia in the Europa League in late July.
He returned in early December to re-establish himself in boss Derek McInnes’ starting line-up.
Months later football was shut down due to Covid-19.
He said: “It can happen in football with injuries but I felt as if my season was just getting started and I was playing regular when the season was called.
“I’ve made sure I came back and hit the ground running and it’s all about maintaining that.”