Andorra's European season is over, with UE Sant Julià assistant coach Julio Ferreros saying: "It's important to enjoy the experience and to feel like a professional team."
Both UEFA Cup contenders Sant Julià or UEFA Champions League entrants FC Santa Coloma failed to progress beyond their opening fixtures, but neither was left feeling embarrassed. Santa Coloma lost 7-2 on aggregate to Lithuanian champions FBK Kaunas, who beat Rangers FC in their next fixture, while Bulgaria's PFC Cherno More Varna were 9-0 aggregate winners against Sant Julià.
'The big dream'
Those may have been heavy defeats, but there is no doubt that Andorran sides see European competition as an honour. "In the domestic league here it's always a fight to gain the right to participate in European competition and so finishing in the top two spots is very important," Ferreros told uefa.com. "This is the big dream for everyone concerned. It is seeing a dream come true.
"It's important to enjoy the experience and to feel like a professional team during the two knockout games," he added. His side lost 4-0 in their first leg against Cherno More but kept the game goalless for 84 minutes. "We played well against a professional team although in the second half they began to dominate. Their goals came from clearances. We didn't have a lot of luck."
Will to win
However, the bitter memories will not last long. Continental competition is helping to improve the standard of local football and everyone feels the benefit. "You always have high hopes, more so the players than the staff, but we now know what this experience is," Ferreros concluded. "Despite everything, we never go into these games with fear and we always go out there to win."
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