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Cymru Premier teams must have a decent chance of Euro success this summer

Ryan Wignall heads home for Nomads at Kilmarnock last season. Picture: Nik Mesney, NCM Media

There was a time when Welsh Premier sides performed so poorly in Europe it was just a case of hoping the canings were not too severe.

Not any more. In the past few seasons our national league teams’ fortunes have been much improved.

While the overall stats since 1993-94 do not make the best of reading, results over recent campaigns have seen an upturn.

Take The New Saints.

The 13-time Welsh Premier champions failed to win a game in Europe until their 17th attempt, but since have recorded 11 victories and nine draws in 46 outings, including winning both legs of a tie twice in the Champions League.

After eight straight WPL title successes, Saints had to settle for runners-up in 2019-20, so this season enter the Europa League where they must have a decent chance at home to MŠK Žilina of Slovakia.

Our two 2020-21 North Walian entrants in Europe, Connah’s Quay Nomads and Bala Town, have done the WPL proud in their efforts to date.

Cymru Premier champions Nomads qualified for European competition for the first time as recently as 2016/17, but since then have won two ties, including a magnificent success over Scottish Premier League giants Kilmarnock last year – arguably the finest performance yet from a WPL team in Europe.

Nomads also won their very first Europa League tie against Stabaek of Norway, and defeated Finnish stars HJK Helsinki 1-0 in the home leg of their 2017-18 EL clash, although they lost the return 3-0.

Twelve matches against good level European opposition and they have never taken a hiding – no wonder Andy Morrison is so proud of his charges.

As for Bala, they have yet to win an actual tie, but have come mighty close, and their three match victories in Europe makes them joint fourth-best overall in the WPL performance chart.

Colin Caton’s men won their first European game in 2013/14, defeating FC Levadia of Estonia 1-0 at Rhyl, and they pipped FC Differdange of Luxembourg 2-1 at Belle Vue in 2015/16, only to exit in heartbreaking fashion 4-3 on aggregate.

Going into injury time, the Lakesiders, 2-0 up on the night, were going through on away goals having lost the away leg 3-1, only for the visitors to pinch it with the last kick of the game.

Like Nomads, Bala have never been hammered or shamed in Europe. They have been a credit to the nation.

Nomads and Bala have helped change the dynamic of how Welsh Premier sides are viewed across the rest of Europe.


So, in the Champions League, Nomads must have a shout in their one-legged tussle with FK Sarajevo of Bosnia at Cardiff City Stadium on August 19, while Bala cannot be ruled out in any way when they travel to Valletta of Malta for a one-off Europa League test on August 27.

European stats

BALA TOWN

2013/14

FC Levadia (h – EL) 1-0 (Ian Sheridan)

FC Levadia (a – EL) 1-3 (Ryan Jones)

2015/16

FC Differdange 03 (a – EL) 1-3 (Ian Sheridan)

FC Differdange 03 (h – EL) 2-1 (Conall Murtagh, Ian Sheridan)

2016/17

AIK Solna (a – EL) 0-2

AIK Solna (h – EL) 0-2

2017/18

FC Vaduz (h – EL) 1-2 (Chris Venables)

FC Vaduz (a – EL) 0-3

2018/19

Tre Fiori (h – EL) 1-0 (Nathan Burke)

Tre Fiori (a – EL) 0-3

PLAYED: 10 WON 3 LOST 7 GOALS FOR 7 GOALS AGAINST 19

GOALSCORERS: 3 – Ian Sheridan; 1 – Conall Murtagh, Ryan Jones, Chris Venables, Nathan Burke

CONNAH’S QUAY NOMADS

2016/17

Stabaek (h – EL) 0-0

Stabaek (a – EL) 1-0 (Callum Morris)

FK Vojvodina (a – EL) 0-1

FK Vojvodina (h – EL) 1-2 (Mike Wilde)

2017/18

HJK Helsinki (h – EL) 1-0 (Nathan Woolfe)

HJK Helsinki (a – EL) 0-3

2018/19

FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (h – EL) 1-3 (Callum Morris pen)

FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (a – EL) 0-2

2019/20

Kilmarnock (h – EL) 1-2 (Greg Taylor OG)

Kilmarnock (a – EL) 2-0 (Ryan Wignall, Callum Morris pen)

Partizan (h – EL) 0-1

Partizan (a – EL) 0-3

PLAYED 12 WON 3 DRAWN 1 LOST 7 GOALS FOR 7 GOALS AGAINST 17

GOALSCORERS: 3 – Callum Morris, 1 – Mike Wilde, Nathan Woolfe, Ryan Wignall, 1 OG

LLANSANTFFRAID/THE NEW SAINTS

1996/97

Ruch Chorzow (h – CWC) 1-1 (Dariusz Gesior og)

Ruch Chorzow (a – CWC) 0-5

2000/01

FC Levadia Maardu (h – CL) 2-2 (Anthony Wright, John Toner)

FC Levadia Maardu (a – CL) 0-4

2001/02

Polonia Warsaw (a – UC) 0-4

Polonia Warsaw (h – UC) 0-2

2002/03

KS Amica Wronki (a- UC) 0-5

KS Amica Wronki (h – UC) 2-7 (Steve Anthrobus, John Toner)

2003/04

Manchester City (a – UC) 0-5

Manchester City (h – UC) 0-2

2004/05

Osters IF (a – UC) 0-2

Osters IF (h – UC) 1-2 (Michael Wilde)

2005/06

Liverpool (h – CL) 0-3

Liverpool (a – CL) 0-3

2006/07

My-Pa (a – CL) 0-1

My-Pa (h – CL) 0-1

2007/08

Ventspils (h – CL) 3-2 (Michael Wilde, Phil Baker, Barry Hogan)

Ventspils (a – CL) 1-2 (Martyn Naylor)

2008/09

FK Suduva (a – UC) 0-1

FK Suduva (h – UC) 0-1

2009/10

Fram Reykjavik (a – EL) 1-2 (Steve Evans)

Fram Reykjavik (h – EL) 1-2 (Steve Evans)

2010/11

Bohemian (a – CL) 0-1

Bohemian (h – CL) 4-0 (Craig Jones, Matty Williams 2, Chris Sharp)

RSC Anderlecht (h – CL) 1-3 (Craig Jones)

RSC Anderlecht (a – CL) 0-3

CSKA Sofia (a – EL) 0-3

CSKA Sofia (h – EL) 2-2 (Matty Williams, Steve Evans)

2011/12

Cliftonville (h – EL) 1-1 (Alex Darlington)

Cliftonville (a – EL) 1-0 (Phil Baker)

Midtjylland (h – EL) 1-3 (Steve Evans)

Midtjylland (a – EL) 2-5 (Alex Darlington 2)

2012/13

Helsingborgs IF (h – CL) 0-0

Helsingborgs IF (a – CL) 0-3

2013/14

Legia Warsaw (h – CL) 1-3 (Ryan Fraughan)

Legia Warsaw (a – CL) 0-1

2014/15

FK Slovan (a – CL) 0-1

FK Slovan (h – CL) 0-2

2015/16

B36 Torshavn (a -CL) 2-1 (Scott Quigley, Mike Wilde)

B36 Torshavn (h-CL) 4-1 (Mike Wilde 3, Matty Williams)

Videoton (h-CL) 0-1

Videoton (a-CL) 1-1 (Matty Williams)

2016/17

Tre Penna (h – CL) 2-1 (Scott Quigley, Jamie Mullan)

Tre Penna (a – CL) 3-0 (Scott Quigley, Aeron Edwards, Greg Draper)

APOEL (h – CL) 0-0

APOEL (a – CL) 0-3

2017/18

Europa FC (h – CL) 1-2 (Scott Quigley)

Europa FC (a – CL) 3-1 (Ivan Moya og, Scott Quigley 2)

HNK Rijeka (a – CL) 0-2

HNK Rijeka (h – CL) 1-5 (Adrian Cieslewicz)

2018/19

KF Shkëndija (a – CL) 0-5

KF Shkëndija (h – CL) 4-0 (Dean Ebbe, Daniel Redmond, Ben Cabango, Kurtis Byrne)

Lincoln Red Imps (h – EL) 2-1 (Dean Ebbe, Blaine Hudson)

Lincoln Red Imps (a – EL) 1-1 (Dean Ebbe)

Midtjylland ((h – EL) 0-2

Midtjylland (a – EL) 1-3 (Dean Ebbe)

2019/20

Feronikeli (h – CL) 2-2 (Greg Draper pen, Aeron Edwards)

Feronikeli (a – CL) 1-0 (Dean Ebbe)

Copenhagen (h- CL) 0-2

Copenhagen (a – CL) 0-1

Ludogorets Razgrad (a – EL) 0-5

Ludogorets Razgrad (h – EL) 0-4

PLAYED 62 WON 11 DRAWN 9 LOST 42 GOALS FOR 52 GOALS AGAINST 131

GOALSCORERS: 6 – Mike Wilde, Scott Quigley; 5 – Dean Ebbe, Matty Williams; 4 – Steve Evans; 3 – Alex Darlington; 2 – Greg Draper, Craig Jones, Phil Baker, John Toner; Aeron Edwards; 1 – Blaine Hudson, Anthony Wright, Steve Anthrobus, Barry Hogan, Martyn Naylor, Chris Sharp, Ryan Fraughan, Daniel Redmond, Ben Cabango, Kurtis Byrne, Jamie Mullan, 2 own goals.

WELSH PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS TOTAL MATCH RECORD IN EUROPE (1993-2019)

PLAYED 254

WON 39 (15.73%)

DRAWN 34

LOST 181

GOALS FOR 180

GOALS AGAINST 630

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
PLAYED 60 WON 15 DRAWN 6 LOST 39 GOALS FOR 53 GOALS AGAINST 144

UEFA CUP
PLAYED 66 WON 8 DRAWN 6 LOST 52 GOALS FOR 40 GOALS AGAINST 178

CUP WINNERS’ CUP
PLAYED 8 WON 0 DRAWN 1 LOST 7 GOALS FOR 3 GOALS AGAINST 28

INTER-TOTO CUP
PLAYED 34 WON 1 DRAWN 6 LOST 27 GOALS FOR 21 GOALS AGAINST 95

EUROPA LEAGUE
PLAYED 86 WON 15 DRAWN 15 LOST 56 GOALS FOR 63 GOALS AGAINST 185

MOST GAME WINS:

11 – The New Saints

6 – Barry Town

5 – Llanelli

3 – Connah’s Quay, Bala Town

2 – Bangor City, Rhyl, Newtown

1 – Carmarthen Town, Cwmbran Town, Inter Cardiff/Cable Tel, Prestatyn Town, Cardiff Met

MOST TIE WINS:

7 – The New Saints

3 – Barry Town

2 – Connah’s Quay Nomads

1 – Carmarthen Town, Bangor City, Rhyl, Llanelli, Newtown, Prestatyn Town

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