Posted: Wed 19th Aug 2020

Tonights debut in UEFA Champions League “a reflection of the hard work we have put in over many years” says Nomads boss Andy Morrison

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Aug 19th, 2020

It’ll be another historic night for Connah’s Quay Nomads when they make their debut in the Champions League against FK Sarajevo.

The Deesider’s take on the Bosnian league winners in a one-legged first qualifying round of the Champions League at Cardiff City’s Stadium this evening.

Andy Morrison’s team were drawn at home for the tie but the Bluebirds ground has been chosen to host the match as it’s a UEFA-COVID compliant stadium.

Due to the pandemic, the game will be played behind closed doors with access restricted to just players, club staff, match officials, accredited media and necessary stadium staff.

The match will mark The Nomads’ first-ever foray into the UEFA Champions’ League, following four successive years of entry into the Europa League.

Manager Andy Morrison said the club’s debut in the competition is “a reflection of the hard work we have put in over many years.”

“It’s been five years since I came to the Nomads and this is a reflection of how far we’ve come, how hard we’ve worked and I’m really proud of the lads and the club of what we’ve achieved.”

“Every manager in the league would want that opportunity to play a part in this and we’ve worked really hard.”

“We’ve always given a great account of ourselves no matter who we have played against, we are mindful as well that we’re representing the Welsh League and we are mindful of the quality of the opposition.”

Morrison said FK Sarajevo “are the best team we have come up against, they are on a par with Partizan Belgrade who got to group stages of the Europa League last year. So we know what’s coming. we know how difficult is going to be, we are as well prepared as we possibly can be.”

Nomads Director of Football Jay Catton said the one leg format could benefit Connah’s Quay.

“I think there’s an advantage, especially in the Champions League, whoever we were going to draw, based on history and rankings we were always going to be perceived as the underdog.

If you can play someone over 90 minutes and not 180 minutes you’ve got a better opportunity.

Home advantage has been great as well although we’ve had to come to South Wales, travel (abroad) this year would have been very difficult.” He said.

FK Manager Vinko Marinovićm goes into the game in confident mood but knows it will be a tough game for his team, he said: “We made a good analysis of the opponents and we are aware of their mistakes, so we will try to use them.”

“It will be a difficult game, but we will set ourselves as favourites, which we are.”

“We have to establish our game so that they adapt to us, not us to them. We are the favourites, that’s how we will position ourselves.”

“We are aware of what awaits us, every player who plays knows it and I think that there will be no problems.”

FK Sarajevo was formed by the local communist government in 1946 and became one of the most popular football clubs in Bosnia.

In 2013 they became the first Bosnian club to be owned by a foreigner when current Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan became the major shareholder.

Tan’s investment made FK Sarajevo the most powerful club financially in Bosnia.

FK has played a total of 74 games in European competition, picking up 24 victories along the way.

Last season, they faced Celtic in the First Qualifying Round of the Champions’ League, going down 5-2 on aggregate, before being defeated by Belarusian side, BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

Their previous best result in Europe was reaching the Play-Off stage of the Europa League in the 2014-15 season where they lost out 10-2 on aggregate to Borussia Monchengladbach.

The match will be covered live on the Nomads YouTube and Facebook channels, with links to the streams being provided shortly before kick off on the night of the game through their Twitter account.

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