Aberdeen will play NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands or Wales’ Barry Town in this season’s Europa League first qualifying round.
The one-legged tie will take place at Pittodrie on August 27, after Runavik and Barry have squared off in the preliminary stage to earn their chance to meet Derek McInnes’ men.
While Aberdeen have never played any Faroese outfit in European competition, they have met Barry Town – in the first round of the 1996/97 Uefa Cup.
The Reds, then bossed by Roy Aitken, won 6-4 on aggregate, winning the first leg at Pittodrie 3-1 (via goals from Dean Windass, Stephen Glass and Darren Young) before a 3-3 draw in the second leg in Wales. In the second meeting, Billy Dodds netted twice, while David Rowson also scored.
Aberdeen were put out in round two by Danish side Brondby.
Back to the present day…
Barry Town United, to give them their full name, nicknamed the Linnets or the Dragons, finished fourth in the Welsh top-flight last term. They are the division’s second most-successful side with seven titles, the last of which came in 2002/03.
In 2001/02, they reached the second qualifying round of the Champions League, where they played FC Porto, losing 9-3 on aggregate, but winning the second leg at home 3-1.
To try and give a bit of context to their level nowadays, Connah’s Quay Nomads – who won last season’s Cymru Premier crown – were pushed quite hard by Aberdeen’s second side, then-League Two Cove Rangers, in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup, also last season, so a win over Gavin Chesterfield’s Barry should be more-than-achievable for McInnes & Co.
Barry do have one well-known name in their squad, however, in midfielder David Cotterill, 32, who has played for a host of English Football League clubs, as well as 24 games for Wales. Cotterill was part of the Welsh squad for Euro 2016 and came out of retirement to play for part-timers Barry.
Who are Runavik?
Runavik finished third in the 2019 Faroese Betrideildin.
They have won the top-flight title once in their history in 2007.
Over their history, Runavik have played 13 European ties without progressing, including a 12-5 aggregate loss to Aberdeen’s Premiership rivals Hibs in 2018/19 at the first qualifying round stage of the Europa League.
Among their players is Klæmint Olsen, who is the top scorer in the history of the Faroese Premier Division and also netted against Spain on international duty in a qualification match for next year’s European Championships.