Steve Lomas looks forward to St Johnstone’s Europa adventure
ST Johnstone manager Steve Lomas admits excitement is building in advance of today’s Europa League draw.
The Irishman and his new-look Perth squad will gather for pre-season training today with their minds on the second round qualifying draw at Uefa headquarters in Switzerland.
Lomas, who steered Saints into the top six after the departure of Derek McInnes for Bristol City last term, noted that unseeded Saints are in Europe for the first time since losing out to Monaco 13 years ago.
And among the teams Lomas’ men could face are Russian cracks Anzki Makhachkda, featuring former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o, who banks an annual $20million salary, as well as Dutch side FC Twente, Red Star Belgrade or Rosenborg.
Lomas said: “In these days of so much uncertainty in Scottish football it is nice to be looking forward to something as exciting as a European draw.
“The Rangers issue seems to have dominated the game for the last few months but now it is back to on-field matters for us at least and that’s great for the club.
“To be involved in Europe is fantastic for the players, me as manager and, of course, the fans.
“What I would hope for the supporters is that we get a draw that gives us a location that is accessible to them so they can come and cheer us on in the away leg.
“Perhaps more importantly, we are also looking for something that gives us a decent chance of getting through to the next stage.
“The dream would be to make it through the qualifying rounds into the group stages, where there would be considerable financial benefits for the club.
“But let’s just take this one first and see where it takes us.
“The chairman, Steve Brown, is going to Switzerland to represent the club and he will be talking to the opposition about all the arrangements that need to be made.
“It is an exciting day for St Johnstone.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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