CONFIRMED - Two of four first round ties decided.

This afternoon, two of the four sides representing Wales in the European competition for the upcoming season found out their first opponents of the season. Connah’s Quay Nomads and Barry Town United were involved in today’s UCL First Qualifying Round and UEL Preliminary Round draws respectively. Up first was current JD Cymru Premier champions Connah’s Quay Nomads who were lucky enough to be drawn at home, this being the case as due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, qualifying round ties will be one leg affairs rather than the home and away legs we are usually accustomed to. The Nomads were drawn against Bosnian champions FK Sarajevo out of a possible three opponents, the Bosnian’s, Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova and well known European heavyweights Red Star Belgrade. The Nomads escaped a crunch tie against Red Star following losing out to their neighbours Partizan in last seasons Europa League, which could realistically give them a much better chance of progressing.  Sarajevo aren’t a side to be written off however, having made regular European appearances in seasons gone by. In the 14/15 season they reached the play offs of the Europa League losing heavily to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Competing in European competition 8 times in the past 9 seasons, they’ve come up against some world renowned sides as well as the Bundesliga outfit, which include BATE Borisov, Atalanta and Celtic in recent years.  Nomads will be given a boost knowing that Sarajevo failed to win a game in Europe last season, losing 3-1 and 2-1 against Celtic followed by a 2-1 defeat and a goalless draw against BATE Borisov. Morrison’s men will be determined to add another magical night to the European memory book after last seasons triumph in Scotland. The tie will take place on August 18 at the Cardiff City Stadium. In the second draw of the afternoon, Barry Town United found themselves drawn away against Faroese side NSÍ Runavík. This will be Runavík’s sixth consecutive season playing in the Europa League and their second starting at this phase in the competition. Their record in Europe isn’t pretty either, having only won a single game since 2009 where they still lost out on aggregate to Linfield. Their only other decent result came last season at this stage where they played out a 0-0 draw at home against Ballymena United, again losing the tie 2-0 on aggregate. They have had some difficult opposition in recent years including Belarusian sides Dinamo Minsk and former Connah’s Quay opponents Shakhtyor Soligorsk, as well as Scottish side Hibernian in 2018 and English top flight side Fulham back in 2011/12.  This will be another good opportunity for the Linnets after being deflated with last seasons performance against Cliftonville. We now wait in anticipation to see how our boys get on. This tie will be played on August 20.


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