Fans of Inverness Caley Thistle don’t take talk of them being a feeder club for the Dons too kindly.
But it is a fact some of the key players wearing Aberdeen shirts when the sides clash at Pittodrie tomorrow in the Scottish Premiership were previously huge heroes to the followers of the Highland club.
Graeme Shinnie, Jonny Hayes, Adam Rooney and Miles Story all enjoyed successful spells at Inverness before finding their way to Pittodrie.
It may well rile some of their fans, but Inverness coach and former Dons favourite Duncan Shearer insists they should see it as a compliment that so many players from their club have gone to form the backbone of the team that finished second to Celtic in the league in the last two seasons.
“It’s fantastic for us,” said Shearer, who was a cult hero with the Red Army in the 1990s and now manages the Inverness Under-20 side.
“We treat it as a compliment to the quality of the Inverness scouting system.
“The bulk of credit has to go to Steve Marcella, who was the man most responsible for finding players when Terry Butcher was the manager.
“Many of the side who won the Scottish Cup were spotted by Steve when they were playing in the lower divisions in England.
“Steve has since left, but Inverness remain hopeful that we can continue to find quality players that we can afford.”