Aberdeen will secure European qualification if they avoid defeat at the weekend and boss Stephen Glass believes continental action will help his new look squad become stronger next season.
Glass is planning a major overhaul of his squad in the summer and aims to have his top signing targets secured in time for the return to pre-season training.
Pre-season training will be earlier for the Dons than many other Premiership clubs as Glass’ side are on course to qualify for the Uefa Conference League.
If they secure a point at Livingston on Saturday the Reds will confirm a slot in Uefa’s new tournament at the second qualifying round stage, kicking-off on July 22.
It will be the eighth consecutive season Aberdeen have qualified for Europe, albeit the seven previous years they went into the Europa League.
That route is gone for Aberdeen after crashing out of the Scottish Cup 3-0 to Dundee United at the quarter-final stage.
Although Uefa’s third tier European club competition Glass insists it is no less important to Aberdeen to be involved.
He said: “It has almost gone back to the days when it was the Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Cup, there is a constant rebranding going on.
“It offers us the chance to play in Europe, and offers the chance for us to push what we do as a club which is great as well.
“European football is a great experience for players to play in as it can help help them become better footballers.”
Should Aberdeen, as expected, qualify for the Uefa Conference League they will discover their opponents at the draw on June 16.
Next season will be the first time there has been a third season-long Uefa men’s football club competition in more than 20 years.
In the previous seven seasons in the Europa League under former manager Derek McInnes the Dons failed to progress past the third qualifying round.
In the Uefa Conference League Glass will have to lead his side through three knock-out rounds to reach the group stages.
Although it is Europe’s third tier competition the team that finishes sixth in the English Premier League will enter – that is currently Liverpool, six time winners of the Champions League, the Uefa Cup three times and European Super Cup on four occasions.
Earlier this season the Dons were drawn against Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League third qualifying round.
The round was reduced to a one-legged tie due to coronavirus travel restrictions with Sporting Lisbon given home advantage.
Aberdeen narrowly lost in Portugal to a Sporting Lisbon side that are currently six points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga table and set to win the title.
Glass said: ” Aberdeen have come up against some very tough teams in the last few years, very difficult opponents at the last hurdle.
“When you get into those stages there is always the chance you will get a better team.
“So you have to hope you draw a lesser team or one that is similar to you because that’s when you get the best chance to go through.”
After a season where supporters have been locked out of Pittodrie due to the coronavirus pandemic there is hope that fans will be back in next season.
Aberdeen faced Faroe Islands side NSI Runavik at Pittodrie in the first qualifying round of the Europa League in August last year – but there were no Dons fans in the stadium to witness the comprehensive 6-0 win.
As the vaccine roll-out progresses and Covid-19 lockdown restrictions ease fans are set to return to Scottish stadia this summer.
In reaction to that positive news Aberdeen confirmed season tickets for the 2021-22 sale are now on sale with prices frozen.
Chairman Dave Cormack insisted the club’s aspiration is to reach 15,000 season ticket holders.
Glass reckons there is no better environment for fans than a European home tie.
He said: “Any time you play in European competition they are great events to be involved in.
“Midweek games against different opposition it is a great thing for supporters to come and watch.
“That is the aim for us at the club to offer that to the public that they can come and watch.”