Aberdeen move into a year which will be critical to the long-term future of the club with boss Derek McInnes still at the helm.
The Dons will hope 2018 will herald a period of “out with the old, in with the new” as the decision on the £50 million Kingsford stadium and training facility will be made later this month.
In what was a dramatic 2017, keeping McInnes looked in doubt twice as Rangers and Sunderland made approaches for the 46-year-old.
Both clubs were eventually knocked back but only after a nervous time for the Red Army and the Dons board.
However, if McInnes’ upwards trajectory continues it is inevitable another club will come hunting for him.
He was a wanted man after guiding the Dons to both cup finals last season and a runners-up finish to Celtic in the Premiership.
It was a third successive second-place finish but the Dons trailed a massive 30 points behind Brendan Rodgers’ treble-winning Celts who went the season undefeated domestically.
The targets now in 2018 are to slash that points gap and try to go one better by landing the Scottish Cup.
Aberdeen went into the winter break 18 points behind Celtic last season. Following the 0-0 stalemate with Hearts at the weekend they go into the shutdown just eight points adrift of the Parkhead side.
Yet for all the interest in McInnes, legacies are viewed in the long term by silverware – not just second-placed finishes in the league.
In 2018 he will be desperate to add to the League Cup glory of 2014 to show something tangible for the position the Reds have held in recent years as Scotland’s second force.
Away from the pitch, 2018 will be one of the biggest in the club’s 115-year history with the Dons hopeful of progressing with Kingsford.
A fresh consultation on the stadium plans closed last month. Aberdeen will discover if Kingsford can go ahead as a decision will be made on their planning application at a special meeting of the full council on January 30.
At the club’s AGM last month, chairman Stewart Milne confirmed there is no Plan B if Kingsford is not given the go-ahead.
Milne said: “There cannot be a plan B because the scale of investment both in time and cash to pursue an application like this is massive.
“By the time this goes to planning at the end of January the club will have invested the best part of three-quarters of a million in processing that application. You cannot be processing something along with a fall-back.
“If we can get the Kingsford facility delivered we will have a fantastic training facility, a great home for our community trust and a great stadium for the fans. It gives us a great base to build a much stronger club going forward.”
If given the green light, the Dons hope to have the £10m training facility available for summer 2019 and the £40m 20,000-capacity stadium for the 2021-22 campaign.
Off the pitch, 2017 was a success with US-based software multi-millionaire and long-term Dons fan Dave Cormack making a substantial investment through the acquisition of shares.
Cormack was also pivotal in securing the £750,000 investment from US businessman Tom Crotty.
On the pitch in 2017 the Reds reached the League Cup final. There was to be no repeat of the 2014 cup-winning heroics as the Reds under-performed in the final in losing 3-0 to Celtic.
Six months later the two sides clashed at Hampden again in the Scottish Cup final.
This time it was very different with the Reds coming agonisingly close to ending the Hoops’ treble bid.
Winger Jonny Hayes, who would later move to Parkhead in a £1.3m transfer, put the Reds ahead in the ninth minute with a superb goal.
Celtic hit back through Stuart Armstrong soon after.
The Dons had chances to edge the final but a Tom Rogic goal two minutes into injury-time broke their hearts.
Sandwiched in between the cup finals was another strong league campaign with the Reds finishing nine points ahead of third-placed Rangers.
After that season McInnes faced a squad breaking up for the first time. Hayes, Niall McGinn, Ryan Jack, Peter Pawlett and Ash Taylor all moved on.
In a major boost moving into 2018 McGinn returned to Pittodrie last week having penned a three-and-a-half year deal until summer 2021.
McGinn was a free agent having terminated his contract with South Korean K-League side Gwangju.
He returned fired up to land silverware.
McGinn said: “I am in my prime. Having a long contract I will hopefully have more opportunities with Aberdeen in cup finals.”
In a summer of transition Sunderland came calling for McInnes.
It reached the stage of a compensation package being agreed to allow the Black Cats to open talks. McInnes rejected Sunderland, and weeks later signed a one-year contract extension with Aberdeen until summer 2020.
At the time he said: “I have ambitions in the game and while I did talk to Sunderland I feel there is so much still to be done at Aberdeen.
“While we have lost players from last season, they will be replaced by signings of similar quality.”
McInnes set to work delivering those signings with eight new additions.
Striker Stevie May arrived from Preston in a £400,000 deal and Gary Mackay-Steven was signed from Celtic for £150,000. The new-look Dons have maintained last season’s momentum.
There was a dip in form as speculation linking McInnes to Rangers dragged on, with the Reds taking four points from 15. That interest became concrete when the Gers made a formal approach to the Dons for permission to talk to McInnes.
That was immediately rejected by chairman Milne.
McInnes missed two days of training to ponder his future and U20 coach Paul Sheerin was on standby to take the team at Dundee.
Again he opted to stay and form immediately improved.
The draw with Hearts on Saturday made it 13 points from 18 since McInnes rejected Rangers’ advances.
McInnes said: “I’ve had a lot to consider over the last couple of days and I appreciate it’s been a testing time for everyone. I’m pleased to be now totally focusing purely on on-the-field matters.”
So, 2017 was a rollercoaster for the Reds – a thrilling, memorable and nervous season both on and off the park. If 2018 is similar … strap yourself in.