If it was good enough for Gothenburg Greats Willie Miller and Jim Leighton, Turriff United boss Kris Hunter insists a spell in the Highland League would benefit any young Aberdeen players of today.
Turra have added three Dons prospects on loan for the new season, which is set to begin on October 17.
Defenders Luke Turner and Conor Power and attacker Tyler Mykyta, who are all 18, are following a well-worn path in coming to the Highland League to gain experience.
Pittodrie icons Miller and Leighton are perhaps the most famous examples of Reds who cut their teeth in the Highland League before going on to star for Aberdeen.
Defender Miller had a loan stint with Peterhead before making 797 appearances for the Dons, captaining them to 12 trophies.
Goalie Leighton spent time with Deveronvale before featuring 535 times for the Reds across two spells and winning nine pieces of silverware.
Although Hunter is not suggesting his three new recruits will go on to reach such heights, he does believe their time with Turriff will help in their quest to reach Aberdeen’s first team.
He said: “I think if it was good enough for players of the calibre of Willie Miller and Jim Leighton, it should be good enough for everyone.
“Folk might say the standard in the league was higher back then because of some of the teams that were in it.
“But I still think the Highland League is a very good standard with a lot of really good players in the league. I think Luke, Conor and Tyler will really enjoy it.
“They maybe won’t realise how competitive it is until we start playing games, but I think the competitive action will be something that will really benefit them.
“We’re just delighted to get them on board and it’s a good chance for them to play in the Highland League, hopefully this can help in their development to push towards the first team.
“We’ll do everything we can to help them and I’m sure they’ll make us better.”
For Premiership and Championship clubs, when development and reserve football will resume is still not known because of the coronavirus pandemic.
That has led to sides sending more players on loan to ensure they play games.
Hunter hopes it can be a trend that continues in greater numbers in years to come.
He added: “The Highland League is a good standard and a good level of competition which would benefit players to experience.
“Maybe this is a start of a pathway and more players being loaned out to the Highland League because with what’s happened this year clubs still don’t know what’s going to happen with development or reserve football.
“Aberdeen wanted the three players to come to one side and I was more than happy for that to happen because we’re all about promoting youth at Turriff.”