Four years after playing for Aberdeen junior side Banks o’ Dee defender Odmar Faero is on the brink of Europa League group stage qualification.
The 30-year-old has already made history with KI Klaksvik in becoming the first Faroe Islands side to reach the play-offs.
KI Klaksvik reached that stage in style by demolishing Georgian league leaders Dinamo Tbilisi 6-1 in the third qualifying round.
Now they face Irish side Dundalk away at the Aviva Stadium tonight in the play-offs with a spot in the lucrative groups up for grabs.
A Superleague winner with Banks o’ Dee in 2016, Faero is 90 minutes away from the groups, where big guns like Arsenal, Benfica, Napoli and Bayer Leverkuson could be drawn.
Faero is ready to grab the chance of a lifetime.
He said: “This will be the biggest game a Faroese club has played in the nation’s history.
“It is a massive chance for us and with respect to Dundalk they are not Real Madrid.
“Maybe we are the underdogs, but we were also underdogs for the Tbilisi game.
“For the Dundalk tie we will follow the same script we did leading up to the Tbilisi game.
“It is a realistic scenario that we can go through and we are doing as much as we can to increase our odds.
“We will do as much in our power to get a win and hopefully the strength of our offence and defence work.”
Capped by the Faroe Islands 29 times, Faero also played for Highland League side Keith from 2011-12.
For his country, he has faced a Portugal side led by five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Faero also set up a goal against former World Cup and Euro winners Spain.
He believes qualification for the groups and the £2.7m prize money would be a game changer for KI Klaksvik.
Faero said: “We have already made more money this season than any other Faroese team has ever made in Europe.
“The prize money is going to up significantly if we make it to the group stages.
“It is absolutely pivotal for us.
“We have already gone beyond expectations and now it just about taking that final step to make it a fantastic journey to remember.”
Aberdeen comfortably overcame Faroe Islands part-timers NSI Runavik 6-0 at Pittodrie in the first qualifying round.
Howeve,r NSI Runavik had beaten Barry Town 5-1 in the pre-qualifying round to set up the Dons tie.
In another success story parallel to KI’s, B36 Torshavn progressed to the third qualifying round this season, only to lose 3-1 to CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria.
Faero said: “This year so far has been very positive for Faroe Islands football as a whole.
“We had three teams who managed to go past the first qualifying round, which our teams are normally in.
“We were one of two Faroese teams into the third round, which is the first team any team has reached that round.
“Simultaneously, the international side kicked off our Nations League campaign with two wins (3-2 Malta, 1-0 Andorra) and sit top of our group.”
KI are based in the village of Klaksvik on the northernmost tip of the Faroe Islands, population 5,117.
Playing out of the 2,500 capacity Við Djúpumýrar stadium (250 seated), KI have already progressed further than Aberdeen in the Europa League in recent seasons.
In seven straight campaigns in Europe, the Dons have yet to progress beyond the third qualifying round.
Faero said: “It is all about the teams you get in the draw.
“I am not going to say we could beat Sporting Lisbon because they are a very strong team.
“Although we met Young Boys in the Champions League and lost, we put in a strong performance.
“Sporting Lisbon are above every team we have faced so far.
“If Aberdeen had got our run, they would maybe be in the same position we are.”
As Faroe Islands league champions, KI (aka Klaksvíkar Ítróttarfelag) initially entered the Champions League qualifiers.
They received a bye in the first qualifying round as opponents Slovan Bratislava were forced to forfeit after players from the Slovakian club tested positive for Covid-19.
KI lost 3-1 to Switzerland’s Young Boys away from home in the second qualifying round and then dropped down into the Europa League.
It was there they announced their presence with an emphatic defeat of current Georgian league leaders and defending champions Tbilisi.
He said: “Against Tbilisi we surprised everyone.
“Tbilisi are not a bad team, are current Georgian champions and have a good historical background in European football
“After we went ahead, we were focused on not settling for the 1-0 win and wanted to put the game out of sight to give ourselves some breathing space.
“The way it played out we were very effective going forward and defended very well.
“The goal Tbilisi scored was a long shot from 25 metres out.
“We had done our homework on the team and managed to do a job on neutralising their threat.
“We kept hitting them on the counter.
“Possession-wise Tbilisi were probably superior, but it is what we managed to do with the ball when we had it.
“We went straight for the kill on the attack.”