The New Saints prepare for Euro mission

After barely two-and-a-half weeks off, The New Saints checked in for pre-season training as focus turns to the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League.

A general view of Park Hall
A general view of Park Hall

It was the case of short and sweet holiday time for the TNS men as Anthony Limbrick readies his troops for a first full season in charge.

And there was a new face among those training at Park Hall in Oswestry, as wing-back Danny Davies arrived on a free transfer from title rivals and champions Connah’s Quay to become the first new signing of the summer.

Limbrick is expected to make more moves in the market as the Australian head coach puts his stamp on the squad he inherited from Scott Ruscoe.

The head coach allowed club icons Jamie Mullan, Greg Draper and Simon Spender to call time on their playing days at Park Hall – though the latter duo have stayed on as staff.

And time is of the essence for the Saints, as they begin preparations for UEFA’s new European competition, which kicks off in a little over a month’s time.

TNS, who last year appeared in the Europa League and spent much of the last decade competing in Champions League qualifying rounds, qualified for the new format with their second-placed finish in the Cymru Premier.

They are joined in the first qualifying round stage by mid Wales side Newtown, who memorably booked their spot with play-off success last weekend.

The Saints will be expected to progress beyond the first qualifying round, where they are the fifth-highest seeded side. Newtown are unseeded.

The first leg is to take place on July 8, with the return fixture a week later. The draw is Tuesday, June 15.

The competition consists of three qualifying rounds, before a play-off round – which features Tottenham and Jose Mourinho’s Italian giants Roma – before a group stage format.

The Conference League’s final is scheduled for Tirana in Albania on May 25, 2022.

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