TNS to face Linfield on return to Champions League

The New Saints will face Northern Irish champions Linfield on their return to Champions League football in July.

TNS vs Glentoran in the Europa Conference League
TNS vs Glentoran in the Europa Conference League

Anthony Limbrick’s side haven’t lined up in Uefa’s top competition for two years, after they failed to win the Cymru Premier title.

But after victory at a canter last season they re-enter the elite competition, and will take on Linfield in the opening round.

The 56-time Irish champions, have won the title for the last four years, and are managed by former Fulham and Sunderland striker David Healy.

The first leg will take place at Park Hall on July 5/6, with the second leg in Northern Ireland scheduled for the following week.

TNS kicked off their pre-season campaign with an 8-2 win over Ellesmere Rangers – but boss Anthony Limbrick insisted the score counted for nothing.

The Saints went into the game on the back of a four day pre-season trip to Portugal, where Limbrick’s charges underwent some intense warm weather training.

“The trip was good, it was a good change of environment, we trained a lot, and it was really good and something we will look to do next season,” said the Saints boss. “It has been tough to sort friendlies, but it was good to get this one under our belt and most players played 45 minutes which was good after a tough week in Portugal.

“It was a strong line-up to start with, which was good to get the lads who have worked together in Portugal out there.

“The scoreline wasn’t important though, it was 0-0 last season. We said the same, it isn’t key for us.

“It was about getting minutes in the legs, although it is good for forwards to get a few goals under their belts.

“There has been plenty of good stuff in the past week, but also plenty to work on.”

Elsewhere, Newtown are set to travel to the Faroe Islands in the first qualifying round of the Europa Conference League to face former champions HB Torshavn.

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