SHAMROCK ROVERS’ EUROPEAN adventure will begin with a trip to Lithuania after the Hoops were pitted against A Lyga champions FK Ekranas.
The road to Wembley began this morning at UEFA headquarters in Nyon with the draw for the qualifying rounds of the 2012/2013 Champions League.
Rovers were one of 17 unseeded teams in the draw for the second qualifying round but got a slice of luck when they pulled Ekranas. The Lithuanians, who are currently six points clear as they challenge for their fifth domestic title in a row, were one of the lowest ranked seeds based on UEFA coefficient.
The first leg takes place in Dublin on 17 or 18 July with the return leg in Panevezys a week later on 24 or 25 July.
Ekranas will be familiar to League of Ireland fans having drawn Cork City in the first qualifying round of the 2005 UEFA Cup. The Leesiders won the first leg 2-0 away from home and hung on to progress in the return in Turner’s Cross despite a few nervy moments in a 1-0 defeat.
Meanwhile in the draw for the first qualifying round of the 2012/2013 Europa League, St Patrick’s Athletic have been paired with a familiar foe in IBV Vestmannaeyjar. The Saints dispatched the Icelandic side in the first qualifying round of last year’s competition, with goals from Ian Daly and Derek Doyle giving them a 2-1 aggregate win.
Should they progress, Liam Buckley’s men will be on the road to Bosnia for a second-round meeting with NK Siroki Brijeg.
Bohemian FC will also play Icelandic opposition in the first round after they were drawn against Thor Akureyri, with FK Mladá Boleslav of the Czech Republic awaiting in the next round. FAI Cup winners and league runners up Sligo Rovers enter the competition in the second qualifying round where they will face FC Spartak Trnava of Slovakia.
The first round qualifiers are due to take place on 5 July and 12 July, with the second round scheduled for the 19th and 26th.
Champions League second qualifying round draw (17/18 and 24/25 July)
- KS Skënderbeu (ALB) v Debreceni VSC (HUN)
- NK Maribor (SVN) v FK Željezničar (BIH)
- MŠK Žilina (SVK) v Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC (ISR)
- FC BATE Borisov (BLR) v FK Vardar (MKD)
- AEL Limassol FC (CYP) v Linfield FC (NIR)/B36 Tórshavn (FRO)
- Shamrock Rovers FC (IRL) v FK Ekranas (LTU)
- FC Flora Tallinn (EST) v FC Basel 1893 (SUI)
- The New Saints FC (WAL) v Helsingborgs IF (SWE)
- HJK Helsinki (FIN) v KR Reykjavík (ISL)
- Molde FK (NOR) v FK Ventspils (LVA)
- F91 Dudelange (LUX)/SP Tre Penne (SMR) v FC Salzburg (AUT)
- FC Slovan Liberec (CZE) v FC Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ)
- PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) v GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
- Neftçi PFK (AZE) v FC Zestafoni (GEO)
- Ulisses FC (ARM) v FC Sheriff (MDA)
- Valletta FC (MLT)/FC Lusitans (AND) v FK Partizan (SRB)
- FK Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) v WKS Śląsk Wroclaw (POL)
Europa League second qualifying round (19/26 July)
- Xäzär Länkäran FK (AZE)/JK Nõmme Kalju (EST) v KKS Lech Poznań (POL)/FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan (KAZ)
- N4* (TUR) v Saint Johnstone FC (SCO)
- HNK Hajduk Split (CRO) v Skonto FC (LVA)
- AIK Solna (SWE) v FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL)/FC USV Eschen-Mauren (LIE)
- FK Renova (MKD)/AC Libertas (SMR) v Vikingur (FRO)/FC Gomel (BLR)
- FC Naftan Novopolotsk (BLR) v FK Crvena zvezda (SRB)
- FK Vojvodina (SRB) v FK Sūduva (LTU)/FC Daugava (LVA)
- JJK Jyväskylä (FIN)/Stabæk Fotball (NOR) v FK Zeta (MNE)/FC Pyunik (ARM)
- BSC Young Boys (SUI) v FC Zimbru Chişinău (MDA)/Bangor City FC (WAL)
- PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1936 (BUL) v Vitesse (NED)
- KF Tirana (ALB)/CS Grevenmacher (LUX) v Aalesunds FK (NOR)
- FC Metalurh Donetsk (UKR) v FK Borac Banja Luka (BIH)/FK Čelik Nikšić (MNE)
- Maccabi Netanya FC (ISR) v KuPS Kuopio (FIN)/Llanelli AFC (WAL)
- FK Mladá Boleslav (CZE) v Bohemian FC (IRL) /Thór Akureyri (ISL)
- FC Šiauliai (LTU)/FC Levadia Tallinn (EST) v Anorthosis Famagusta FC (CYP)
- FC Milsami Orhei (MDA) v FC Torpedo Kutaisi (GEO)/FC Aktobe (KAZ)
- NK Slaven Koprivnica (CRO) v FK Skendija 79 (MKD)/Portadown FC (NIR)
- Servette FC (SUI) v EB/Streymur (FRO)/ FC Gandzasar Kapan (ARM)
- FC Twente (NED)/UE Santa Coloma (AND) v FC Inter Turku (FIN)
- VMFD Žalgiris (LTU) v VfB Admira Wacker Mödling (AUT)
- FC Santa Coloma (AND)/NK Osijek (CRO) v Kalmar FF (SWE)/Cliftonville FC (NIR)
- ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK) v Videoton FC (HUN)
- FC Rapid Bucureşti (ROU) v Myllykosken Pallo-47 (FIN)/Cefn Druids AFC (WAL)
- FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) v KS Teuta (ALB)/FC Metalurgi Rustavi (GEO)
- Bakı FK (AZE)/NK Mura (SVN) v PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL)
- İnter Bakı PİK (AZE)/JK Trans Narva (EST) v Asteras Tripolis FC (GRE)
- KAA Gent (BEL) v FC Differdange 03 (LUX)/NSÍ Runavík (FRO)
- FC Anzhi Makhachkala (RUS) v KS Flamurtari (ALB)/Budapest Honvéd FC (HUN)
- PFC Levski Sofia (BUL) v FK Sarajevo (BIH)/Hibernians FC (MLT)
- SK Liepājas Metalurgs (LVA)/SP La Fiorita (SMR) v Legia Warszawa (POL)
- FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR) v SV Ried (AUT)
- Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) v FK Rudar Pljevlja (MNE)/FC Shirak (ARM)
- Rosenborg BK (NOR)/Crusaders FC (NIR) v FK Jagodina (SRB)/FC Ordabasy Shymkent (KAZ)
- FC Spartak Trnava (SVK) v Sligo Rovers FC (IRL)
- FC Dacia Chişinău (MDA) v NK Celje (SVN) v IF Elfsborg (SWE)/Floriana FC (MLT)
- NK Široki Brijeg (BIH) v Saint Patrick’s Athletic FC (IRL)/ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar (ISL)
- APOEL FC (CYP) v FK Senica (SVK) v MTK Budapest (HUN)
- Ruch Chorzów (POL) v Birkirkara FC (MLT)/FK Metalurg Skopje (MKD)
- AGF Århus (DEN) v FC Dila Gori (GEO)
- NK Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN)/AS Jeunesse Esch (LUX) v Tromsø IL (NOR)