herald

Sunday 22 July 2018

Rovers eye draw

Stephen Bradley
Stephen Bradley

Shamrock Rovers will be hoping to avoid a nightmare trip to Belarus when they learn their Europa League fare today.

The Hoops are one of three League of Ireland clubs in the hat for the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

Rovers will face one of five teams: Hafnarfjördur (Iceland), Nordsjælland (Denmark), AIK (Sweden), Ventspils (Latvia) or Shakhtyor Soligorsk (Belarus). Derry City had an unhappy meeting with Soligorsk in 2104, losing 6-1, and the Hoops would be happy with any draw apart from that one.

"Like Derry last year, if you get a top team you're up against it straight away, but if you get a half-decent draw you can progress, that's the way we should be looking at it," says Rovers boss Stephen Bradley.

Dundalk's first-round draw is reasonable, opposition from one of Iceland, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, San Marino, Wales or the Faroes. But Derry City face a very tough task against Górnik Zabrze (Poland), Vardar (Macedonia), Dinamo Minsk (Belarus) Spartak Subotica (Serbia) or OFK Titograd (Montenegro).

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