Meet the Champions League's first eight entrants

Policemen, teachers, mechanics, carpenters, bakers and a Polish mother with split loyalties – as the UEFA Champions League starts discover the eight first qualifying round hopefuls.

©UEFA.com
The Victoria Stadium
The Victoria Stadium©UEFA.com

Lincoln FC
• Literally a stone's throw away from the runway of Gibraltar's airport, the Victoria Stadium is shared by all eight of the Rock's top-flight teams. Those passengers taking off and landing will get a close-up view of the first-round qualifying action if they time their flights correctly. The 5,000-seater venue also stages cricket matches.

• Three Cascario brothers – Lee, Ryan and Kyle – are in a squad which contains a customs officer, Gibraltar defence police officers, a shipping agent, an admin clerk and a construction worker. The only full-time player is Liam Walker.

The New Saints FC
• The most decorated club in the history of the Welsh Premier League do not even play in the country: Saints are actually based over the English border in Oswestry. The only fully-professional side in the Welsh Premier, they lost just one match in all domestic competitions last term, wrapping up the title in March to make them Europe's first league champions of 2015.

• Winger Adrian Cieślewicz played for opponents B36 Tórshavn in the UEFA Europa League last season alongside his brother Łukasz. The two will now compete against each other for the first time. Poor old mum.

B36 Tórshavn
• Founded in 1936, the club won their fifth title in 1962 but had to wait 35 years before capturing it again in 1997. Intervals between titles have decreased since then, a further five championships following that success.

Jákup Borg of B36
Jákup Borg of B36©Hans Erik Danielsen

• There are no professional teams in the Faroe Islands and all B36 players have jobs outside of football. Jákup Borg owns an automobile repair shop where he employs full-back Høgni Eysturoy, goalkeeper Tórdur Thomsen is studying to become a teacher, centre back Odmar Faerø is a carpenter and midfielder Róaldur Jakobsen an electrician while Senegalese forward Ibrahima Camara works at a bakery shop. 

Crusaders FC
• Current manager Stephen Baxter was involved in the club's last UEFA Champions League venture as a player in 1997/98. He scored in the 3-1 first-leg defeat at Seaview to FC Dinamo Tbilisi but was red carded in the 5-1 second-leg loss in Georgia.

• Crusaders played Liverpool FC in the first round of the 1976/77 European Champion Clubs' Cup – losing 2-0 at Anfield and 5-0 at Seaview. The English club went on to lift the trophy with a 3-1 victory over VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final.

FC Levadia Tallinn
• The nine-time Estonian champions are the country's most successful side in Europe having beaten teams such as FC Twente and Wisła Kraków in their 54 continental matches. The most impressive run came in 2006/07 when the Tallinn side progressed through two UEFA Cup qualifying rounds to make the first round proper, before a 3-1 aggregate defeat by Newcastle United FC.

Pareiko will only feature if Levadia advance
Pareiko will only feature if Levadia advance©Getty Images

• They boast Estonia internationals in Artjom Artjunin, Artur Pikk, Ilja Antonov, Dmitri Kruglov, Siim Luts and Ingemar Teever, though goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko – who returned to the club earlier this year after 15 years in Russia and Poland – is serving a three-match ban. Slovakia defender Ivan Pecha played in the UEFA Champions League with FC BATE Borisov in 2008.

FC Pyunik
• Armenia's most decorated club progressed past the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League back in 2002/03. Their last appearance in the competition was one to forget, though: they lost 9-1 on aggregate to FC Viktoria Plzeň in 2011/12.

• Mexican-American forward César Romero had a two-week trial at the club last August and played a key role – one opposing coach described him as "70% of Pyunik's success". His 21 league goals backed that up.

Folgore celebrate their domestic double
Folgore celebrate their domestic double©Elia Gorini

SS Folgore
• Founded in 1972, the Sammarinese champions were the first team from the country to play and score a goal in a UEFA club competition: Alessandro Zanotti struck the landmark goal via a 79th-minute header against FC Basel 1893 in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup first qualifying round.

• The side from the Falciano Castle claimed their first domestic double after ending a 15-year wait for the title and by lifting the Coppa Titano for the first time. Nicola Berardi's side are hoping to build on their success by becoming the first team from the nation to progress to the second qualifying round.

Eloy Casals's historic celebrations
Eloy Casals's historic celebrations©Khachik Chakhoyan

FC Santa Coloma
• Richard Imbernón's side won their ninth title on the last day of the season in May, beating UE Sant Julià 3-1 having ensured their fate rested in their own hands following a 2-1 win against FC Lusitans the previous week.

• Santa Coloma won their first ever UEFA tie at this stage last season, goalkeeper Eloy Casals scoring in the 94th minute of the second leg to secure an away-goals triumph over FC Banants. "I regret not running to the bench but I'm a goalkeeper; I never celebrate goals," the 31-year-old said at the time.

The first qualifying round kicks off at 18.00CET tonight when Pyunik host Folgore. Lincoln v Santa Coloma (20.00) and Crusaders v Levadia (20.45) follows, before the first legs conclude with B36 v TNS on Wednesday.

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