UEFA Europa League contenders react to draw

After 117 clubs learned their opponents in the UEFA Europa League first and second qualifying round draws, we collect the pick of the reaction from around Europe.

The UEFA Europa League first qualifying round draw takes place
The UEFA Europa League first qualifying round draw takes place ©Getty Images for UEFA

UEFA Europa League first and second qualifying round draws

Trygvi Mortensen, NSÍ Runavík
We're well satisfied with the draw. The only team we did not want to play against was FK Vojvodina. That's because of the long journey and the eastern European style of football is so much different than ours. Linfield was the team we wanted most. We have seen them a few times in the Faroe Islands and they have never been frightening, although they have progressed every time. We're not going to sit back and defend against them.

Vinko Marinovic, FK Zrinjski coach
It is a hard road against an unknown opponent [FC Shirak], but we can go through. It will be highly uncertain, but we believe we can make it to the next round. 

Ryan Fenech, Balzan FC midfielder
Within a couple of days we will have all our squad ready to go – as five or six foreign players will join the squad in the coming days. For me a new adventure is always a challenge and I reckon that my new venture in the Europa League with my new team is appropriate. I am not saying we can pass the round but we will be putting up a very good challenge against our opponents from Bosnia, Željezničar.

Tommy Wright, Saint Johnstone FC manager

Sulejman Starova, FK Partizani
It is relatively a tough draw [against Strømsgodset IF]. We don't know much about our opposition. We are excited to be back in European competition after eight years of absence and we'll be ready to compete.

Paul Fenech, Birkirkara FC captain
At the moment we are undergoing quite an intensive training camp in Italy which should serve us well. FC Ulisses are one of those teams which we still have to get to know about and study but I presume they're not easy opponents.

Ólafur Thórdarson, Víkingur Reykjavík coach
I am OK with the draw. It is difficult to know but I guess we have a fairly good chance – we need to play well. [NK] Koper are an experienced team that have done well over the years, but not so well last season. We are all very excited; after all, it has been a long time since Víkingur played a UEFA game.

Damir Burić, HNK Hajduk Split coach
We are satisfied with the draw. I don't know much about our opponent [JK Sillamäe Kalev], but as they have already started their domestic championship, there will be time to do some scouting. We have had a good first part of preparations for the new season and we can make a good start in the Europa League qualifiers.

Mirza Varašanović, FC Olimpic Sarajevo coach
This is our first performance in Europe and it is already a success. Our opponent [FC Spartak Trnava] have more quality, but it is not impossible for us to make a surprise. But they are the favourites.

Kasper Fisker, Randers FC midfielder
It is not as long a trip [to UE Sant Julià] as it would have been if we had drawn a team from eastern Europe, and it is opponents against whom we should be able to proceed. So it is a fine opponent.

Sølvi Vatnhamar, Víkingur midfielder
We hope to get a decent result at home so that we still have a realistic chance in the second leg. A draw or a narrow win would be an extremely good basis for the second leg in Trondheim [against Rosenborg BK].

Dennis Demmers, Go Ahead Eagles coach
[Ferencvárosi TC] are the toughest opponents we could have drawn. But that is nice for the fans. We are going to prepare for this like for every match and we just want to win. We have to also enjoy this, all of us, it is a nice adventure.

Hedim Aksham, HB Tórshavn
FK Trakai are one of the stronger teams we could draw. The team has several players from Russia and Belarus, so it's a strong team. The first match is on away soil, so there a draw would be a good foundation for the home match. This will be a difficult task, but we do of course intend to qualify for the second qualifying round.

Miomir Odović, FK Željezničar coach
We were lucky, we maybe got the easiest opponent we could [Balzan FC]. Although we are favourites, we have to take this seriously in order to pass through. Our opponents are completely unknown to us.

Nikola Spasov, PFC Cherno More Varna coach
It is a tough draw, but we have chances against FC Dinamo Minsk. If we are confirmed as hosts of the first leg, we must try to get a good result that will give us a chance for the return.

Toni Korkeakunnas, FC Lahti coach
Sweden is nearby so travelling there will be easy. I know Elfsborg quite well and they are a big club in Sweden. It will be a good challenge for us. We knew beforehand that we would get a tough opponent, so bring it on.

Petar Hubchev, PFC Beroe Stara Zagora coach
We are going to give our best, of course. We don't have much time to prepare for the games and it is going to be tough. I have some idea about the opponents FK Atlantas Klaipėda. They are very strong in attack and score a lot of goals. Now we must try to get as much information as possible and try to be ready for them.

Heimir Gudjónsson, FH Hafnarfjördur coach
We know from our game against them [a March friendly SJK Seinäjoki won 2-0] that they are a good team, even though it was just a pre-season game. They are strong opponents so we will have do our job properly.

Krasimir Balakov, PFC Litex Lovech coach
I am satisfied with the draw but we must be totally focused if we want to go through. Jelgava are in the middle of the Latvian league season while we are now at the start of our preparation for the new season. We still lack rhythm and must compensate with quality, motivation and commitment.

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