Welsh international Ryan Hedges was proof of the benefits of Cormack Park five months before the complex was opened.
Long before Sir Alex Ferguson cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony of the £12 million training facility the Dons had shown Hedges around the site.
It was merely a work in progress but amid the diggers, concrete and mud the 24-year-old was shown a vision.
On welcoming in a new era for the Dons with the club’s first training facilities in their 116-year history Sir Alex insisted it will help lure new signings.
Hedges is proof the club’s legendary manager was right.
Cormack Park wasn’t the only reason Hedges signed on but it was certainly one of them.
He said: “When I signed here the training ground was something that was in the pipeline.
“I went up with Steven Gunn (football operations manager) who showed me around and the visions of the club.
“It all seemed so positive and I am here now – so it must have been a good trip.
“The training ground obviously helped because I want to be in the best facilities and within the best squad.
“I want to be in the best at everything and Aberdeen are on the way to making that work with the new training ground.
“When you see all the plans for the next few years it is an up-and-coming place and somewhere players want to be at.”
Hedges, 24, rejected the offer of a new contract at Barnsley at the end of last season despite winning promotion to the Championship.
He wanted a fresh challenge.
Hedges admits there were other factors beyond Cormack Park in choosing the Reds.
He said: “The training ground was not the be all and end all.
“However, like Sir Alex said when he opened it, the facility will help to attract and retain players.
“It is a stepping stone for Aberdeen.”
A Manchester United fan, Hedges did not get the opportunity to meet his idol Sir Alex – he was too busy preparing for Kilmarnock today.
He said: “Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him as we were in for training. It was great for the club that he was there to open it.”
After seeing what Cormack Park could be in the summer whilst under construction he was at the pitches for a training session the first time yesterday with the Dons.
He said: “It is something I was always looking forward to seeing and now it has been opened it will be a huge lift for the club.
“Not just the first team players but the 21s, the 18s and the lower age groups as well.
“If you take a bus to training and back you cannot be out there working for all hours. We are all looking forward to the facility as it has an exceptional gym and all the facilities there that we need.
“It puts Aberdeen on the right path and shows everyone what the club want to be.”
Hedges wants to end an historic week for the club with three points against Kilmarnock.
He is set to start today having shrugged off a back problem that kept him on the bench for two games before returning to the starting line-up for the 1-0 midweek defeat of Hamilton.
He said: “It was good to get back playing and fully fit again.
“I had a niggle in my back. It was nothing major.
“We had to take it day by day and game by game and it felt good enough to be fully involved for the Hamilton game.
“It is not great to be out as I want to be playing games.
“The boys played really well against Motherwell and the Celtic match we just want wiped out from existence as I can’t say anyone had a good game. Celtic had a way of playing and we just couldn’t deal with it.
“After a good team performance and three points at Hamilton we are all looking to get another win and keep building.
“The willingness from the boys to get three points was massive.
“We wanted to move on as quickly as we could. Kilmarnock will be hard to break down.
“With the attacking quality we have we should be able to create chances and hopefully put them away.”