Double British encounter as two Gibraltar clubs drawn against Northern Ireland clubs
Both St Joseph and Magpies will be playing against Northern Ireland league clubs in the Europa Conference League first qualifying round.
The 2022/23 UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round draw, kicking off the new season, was streamed live on Tuesday 14 June. It took place at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.
The draw was to see Gibraltar clubs drawn against Northern Ireland and Faroe Island opposition.
Europa, who finished second in the league will face Víkingur (FRO) this the first time both sides meet. The first leg should be played away from home, although this will need to be confirmed with Gibraltar having three teams playing in the Europa Conference League.
Magpies, better known as Bruno Magpies, will debut in the Europa Conference League in what should be a home leg against Northern Irish side Crusaders. Similarly St Joseph’s who finished third in the league will face Larne FC, also from Northern Ireland making it a double British encounter.
Importantly with Gibraltar and Northern Ireland competing closely to maintain themselves away from the bottom five of the UEFA Club Coefficient rankings list the matches could be crucial for Gibraltar’s future prospects in European competitions. Positive results from this matches could tilt the balance in Gibraltar’s favour to maintain themselves above the threshold which could see them drop to three clubs competing in Europe.
The draw saw 60 teams divided into six groups of ten teams (groups 1 to 6) in accordance with the club coefficient rankings established at the beginning of the season. Within each of the six groups, the teams were divided into an equal number of seeded and unseeded teams.
Both St Joseph and Europa were among the seeded clubs with Magpies, this being their first venture into European competitions drawn as an unseeded club.
Notably both Crusaders and Larne did not finish in the top three of their own league, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
What happens next?
Ties take place on 7 and 14 July, with extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required after the second leg. Winners advance to the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round.
Clubs will be required to confirm both the venues and times for their matches. In recent seasons Gibraltar clubs have seen their schedules changed to provide for the three teams playing in the Europa Conference League which would mean two home matches in the same day at some stage.
When are Europa Conference League matches?
First qualifying round: 7 & 14 July
Second qualifying round: 21 & 28 July
Third qualifying round: 4 & 11 August 2022
Play-offs: 18 & 25 August 2022
Second qualifying round: 15 June
Third qualifying round: 18 July
Play-offs: 2 August
Group stage: 26 August (16:00 CET)
Knockout round play-offs: 7 November
Round of 16: 24 February
Quarter and semi-finals: 17 March
*All draws start at 14:00 CET unless stated otherwise
Matchday 1: 8 September 2022
Matchday 2: 15 September 2022
Matchday 3: 6 October 2022
Matchday 4: 13 October 2022
Matchday 5: 27 October 2022
Matchday 6: 3 November 2022
Knockout round play-offs: 16 & 23 February
Round of 16: 9 & 16 March 2023
Quarter-finals: 13 & 20 April 2023
Semi-finals: 11 & 18 May 2023
Final: 7 June 2023
Fixtures for First qualifying round
First legs 7 July, second legs 14 July
Alashkert (ARM) vs Hamrun Spartans (MLT)
Lechia Gdańsk (POL) vs Akademija Pandev (MKD)
Inter Turku (FIN) vs Drita (KOS)
Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) vs Paide Linnameeskond (EST)
Panevezys (LTU) vs Milsami Orhei (MDA)
Laçi (ALB) vs Iskra Danilovgrad (MNE)
Liepāja (LVA) vs Gjilani (KOS)
Sfintul Gheorghe (MDA) vs Mura (SVN)
KuPS Kuopio (FIN) vs Dila Gori (GEO)
Ružomberok (SVK) vs Kauno Žalgiris (LTU)
Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) vs Llapi (KOS)
Gzira United (MLT) vs Atlètic Club d'Escaldes (AND)
Borac Banja Luka (BIH) vs B36 Tórshavn (FRO)
Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN) vs Differdange (LUX)
Larne (NIR) vs St Joseph's (GIB)
Breidablik (ISL) vs UE Santa Coloma (AND)
DAC Dunajská Streda (SVK) vs Cliftonville (NIR)
Víkingur (FRO) vs Europa (GIB)
Bala Town (WAL) vs Sligo Rovers (IRL)
Tre Fiori (SMR) vs Fola Esch (LUX)
Dinamo Minsk (BLR) vs Dečić (MNE)
SP Tre Penne (SMR) vs Tuzla City (BIH)
Saburtalo (GEO) vs Partizani (ALB)
Shkëndija (MKD) vs Ararat Yerevan (ARM)
Floriana (MLT) vs Petrocub-Hîncești (MDA)
Pogoń Szczecin (POL) vs KR Reykjavík (ISL)
HB Tórshavn (FRO) vs Newtown (WAL)
FCB Magpies (GIB) vs Crusaders (NIR)
Flora Tallinn (EST) vs SJK Seinäjoki (FIN)
Derry City (IRL) vs Riga FC (LVA)