The UEFA Europa League gets back under way this week, with a notable former international set to feature for San Marino’s La Fiorita against Vaduz.
In total, 102 clubs will get their qualification up and running on Thursday before 15 more join the draw for the second qualifying round, and former Italy midfielder Damiano Tommasi is set to lace up his boots again for the occasion.
Tommasi’s return is likely to buoy a La Fiorita side yet to score in two qualifying campaigns – the former Roma man having initially retired as a professional six years ago.
After being named in the squad list, Tommasi told UEFA’s official website: “I’ve been missing from the international stage for so much time.
“La Fiorita gave me the chance to relive this kind of challenge. I hope to add a beautiful chapter to my footballing career.”
A.C. Juvenes/Dogana also represent San Marino against former UEFA Cup semi-finalists Brondby, while the Albanian trio of Kukesi, Laci and Partizani Tirana begin at home against Torpedo-Belaz Zhodino, Inter Baku and Stromsgodset respectively.
Fair Play entrants West Ham and Go Ahead Eagles face Lusitanos and Ferencvaros, with former winners IFK Gothenburg awaiting the victors of NK Celje and Slask Wroclaw.
Alongside Go Ahead, University College Dublin are the only other second-tier side competing in the tournament – the Irish outfit are taking on F91 Dudelange, while Shamrock Rovers also await a Luxembourg-based side in Progres Niederkorn.
Cork City and St Patrick’s Athletic face KR and Skonto, with Alashkert and Balzan making their European debuts against St Johnstone and Zeljeznicar.
Botosani and Spartak Tskhinvali meet in Romania for their first leg, while Saxan and Olimpic will get under way against Apollon Limassol and Spartak Trnava.
Debutants Spartaks Jurmala, Trakai and SJK must negotiate ties with Buducnost Podgorica, HB and FH.
Aberdeen will need to get past Shkendija to set up a second-round tie with Croatian side Rijeka, with Gibraltar’s sole representatives Europa FC facing Slovan Bratislava.
Hajduk Split warm up for their domestic campaign with two legs against Estonian Meistriliiga runners-up Sillamae Kalev, while fellow Croatians Lokomotiva face Welsh outfit Airbus UK Broughton.
Wales are well represented – Newtown taking on Valletta and Bala Town facing Differdange – with Faroe Islands pair Runavik and Vikingur meeting Linfield and Rosenborg respectively.
Glenavon welcome Belarusian side Shakhtyor Soligorsk to Mourneview Park, Glentoran face MSK Zilina and Vikingur Reykjavik take on Koper.
Elsewhere, there are trips for Renova, Ordabasy and Shirak to Dacia Chisinau, Beitar Jerusalem and Zrinjski Mostar, while Flora and Atlantas enjoy home advantage for their first legs with Rabotnicki and Beroe.
Finnish pair Lahti and VPS face Swedish opponents Elfsborg and AIK, 13-time Moldovan champions Sheriff face Odd, while Dinamo Tbilisi and Debrecen await Gabala and Sutjeska.
Kazakhstan’s hopes rest with Kairat and Aktobe, who play Red Star Belgrade and Nomme Kalju – with Serbia’s Cukaricki and Vojvodina making the trips to Domzale and MTK Budapest.
Elsewhere, Dinamo Batumi face Omonia of Cyprus, Sant Julia take on Randers, while Kruoja Pakruojis, FK Jelgava and Birkirkara face Jagiellonia Bialystok, Litex Lovech and Ulisses respectively.
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