Stephen Glass’ Aberdeen face Swedish side BK Häcken while Hibs take on either FC Santa Coloma of Andorra or Gibraltar minnows Mons Calpe FC. Ties will be played over two legs on July 22nd and July 29th, NTOF taking a look at the three Euro foes.
Aberdeen will host the Gothenburg side at Pittodrie in the first leg before returning to the city of their 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final win over Real Madrid. Bollklubben Häcken play on an artificial surface at the 6,500 Bravida Arena and their best top-flight finish in Sweden was second in 2012.
They have won two Swedish Cups in the last five years, coming in 2016 and 2019. Häcken are captained by Swedish international Rasmus Lindgren and he will lead them on their seventh European campaign. The Swedish side beat Dunfermline in their maiden European voyage, winning a UEFA Cup tie in the 2007-08 season 2-1 on aggregate.
Currently bottom of the Swedish top-flight after eight games and have lost to Cork City, RB Leipzig and AZ in their last three Europa League campaigns.
FC Santa Coloma
The first of Hibs’ potential opponents, the part-time Andorran side hail from a village of 3,040 people, situated 3,700ft above sea level. They are managed by former Barcelona goalkeeper Albert Jorquera. Santa Coloma are a dominant team in Andorra, winning 13 titles and 10 cups.
Six of those titles came between 2013-19. Striker Juanma Torres was on Real Madrid’s books as a youngster and was their top scorer last season.
Defender Andreu Ramos spent time with Barcelona, UD Ibiza and Hamilton Accies before joining FC Santa Coloma. This is the club’s 18th European adventure.
Mons Calpe SC
The team from Gibraltar were only formed in 2013 and first reached the nation’s Premier Division in 2016. They play at the 2,000 capacity Victoria Stadium and are managed by Argentine Cesar Vega. Their only notable medal comes in the form of a 2018 Rock Cup runners-up spot.
Qualified for the Europa Conference League by finishing fifth in the curtailed Premier Division. The FC Santa Coloma tie in the first qualifying round is their first mission on European soil.
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