Trabzonspor hosts Derry City in Europa League qualifier

Trabzonspor hosts Derry City in Europa League qualifier

Trabzonspor hosts Derry City in Europa League qualifier

Trabzonspor chairman İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu (L) poses with former French international midfielder Florent Malouda ahead of the star player’s contract deal with the Spor Toto Super League club. AA Photo

Boosted by the Florent Malouda signing, Trabzonspor opens new campaign with a Europa League preliminary game against Derry City tonight.

The Black Sea Storm takes on Northern Irish side at the second qualifying round first leg
its 2013-14, hoping to get a good result before next week’s return leg.

The game comes only a day after Trabzonspor signed former French international Malouda on a free transfer from Chelsea.

The 33-year-old arrived in Trabzon on the evening of July 16 and was welcomed by a large group of supporters.

Malouda is not eligible to play at this round, but Trabzon will hope that the midfielder’s presence will be a boost for the team.

The game will also mark the competitive debut of Mustafa Reşit Akçay who was signed as the Trabzonspor coach in May.

Akçay, who replaced Tolunay Kafkas as head coach, boosted his reputation with his successful spell at 1461 Trabzon, the feeder club to Trabzonspor.

As important the game is for the Turks, Derry City manager Declan Devine is also looking forward to taking on Trabzon.

‘Top team’

BBC Sport quoted Devine as saying the Candystripes will go to Turkey with confidence, and the game against “one of Europe’s leading teams will provide a great opportunity for City’s younger players.”

The Trabzonspor vs. Derry City is one of 40 ties in the second qualifying round today. The European Champion Clubs’ Cup winners in 1991, FK Red Star Belgrade were perhaps the most notable team drawn to start in the second qualifying round and they will encounter IBV Vestmannaeyjar, victorious against HB Tórshavn. Part-timers Prestatyn Town FC, shock penalty shoot-out winners against Metalurgs, will now meet Rijeka.

Meanwhile, Rosenborg, who overcame Crusaders, will meet Saint Johnstone of Scotland. Rubin Kazan will kick off their attempt to reach the Turin final against Serbia’s FK Jagodina next week, while R. Standard de Liège stand between another of tonight’s winners KR Reykjavík and the third qualifying round. Göteborg, who belied their underdog status by lifting the UEFA Cup under Sven-Göran Eriksson in both 1982 and 1987, meet Slovakia’s Trencin.

Hibernian, the Scottish Cup runner-up with a defeat to Celtic on May 26, returns to European competitions after three years with a visit to Malmö. The Edinburgh side will play the Swedish side, which outlasted Irish part-timers Drogheda United.

Second legs will be played at July 25.

Other Turkish teams, Kasımpaşa and Kayserispor will join the competition in further rounds.