David Healy provides reaction to today’s UEFA Champions league first round draw.
‘Overall, I have to be positive about the draw. We will look forward to going to Oswestry and to welcoming The New Saints to Windsor Park.
It’s a fair draw in that it gives us a chance of progressing but of course, The New Saints will look at the draw and think it also gives them a really good chance of making progress in the competition.
They are regularly champions of Wales and the seeded team in the draw so they will command our utmost respect, as they are a good side who have a fine pedigree in European competition.
We started back to pre-season training last Monday and this draw now gives us a focus and an opponent to aim for, as we continue our preparations in anticipation for this eagerly anticipated tie.
We will prepare thoroughly and professionally and do our research on our opponents and when the game comes round, we will be as ready as we can be for what's sure to be a tough challenge.
In many ways, it’s like a local derby in Euro terms and we already know quite a bit about the New Saints, so it’s an exciting draw for us and one we will relish.
All the possible draws - New Saints, Vilnius, HJK, Bodo Glimt and Malmö were tough but I’m particularly relieved to have avoided Malmö and Bodo Glimt, as they beat Rangers and Celtic last year.
We’ve missed our supporters on our European travels in recent years, due to covid restrictions and I’m particularly pleased for the supporters who will be able to get match tickets that we’ve got this favourable draw from a supporter travelling perspective.
Logistically, it’s a good draw for the club, in terms of getting there and back and I look forward to seeing a good turn-out of Blue men, women and children in Oswestry. I'm sure there will be quite a few supporters booking flights and ferry crossings in the coming days and after the frustrations they've experienced in not being able to travel away in recent years, I know how excited the supporters who get match tickets, will be, looking ahead to and preparing for this trip. Our focus is on doing all we can to try and win the tie and our supporters can help make a difference over the two legs of the tie.
In the meantime, we will continue our preparations for this big game by welcoming Newtown and St Mirren to Windsor Park on June 25 and July 2 and I look forward to seeing as many of our supporters as possible at those games."