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11 Jun 2019

Both Ballymena United and Cliftonville have learned their fate in this morning’s draw for the preliminary stages of the Europa League.

Ballymena United will face tough opposition from the Faroe Islands as they take on NSI Runavik for a place in round one.

It’s another Scandinavian adventure for David Jeffrey’s side, as they lost out to Norwegian side Odds BK in their previous European campaign in 2017. The Braidmen come up against a NSI Runavik side that finished second in the Faroe Islands Premier League last season and will be competing in their fifth consecutive season in European football, which included a defeat over two legs to Linfield in 2015.

Paddy McLaughlin’s Cliftonville were seeded in the draw and make the jaunt across the Irish Sea as they face Barry Town.

The Reds will have an opportunity to look at their Welsh opponents ahead of the tie as they face Ballymena United on Saturday 22 June, but it will be a first Euro campaign for the Welsh Premier League side since 2003/2004.

Ties will be played on Thursday 27 June and Thursday 4 July and sequencing of home and away fixtures will be confirmed by UEFA in due course.

The draw for the UEFA Champions League (which includes Linfield) and the First Qualifying Round (which involves Crusaders) takes place next Tuesday.