City relishing Moldovan challenge


Tomos Hughes

BANGOR CITY can look forward to a trip to Moldova next month, after they were drawn against FC Zimbru Chisinau in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

Club officials were at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Monday (June 25) to witness the draw, which pitted them against the side who finished third in Moldova’s top flight last season.

City will host their first European tie at Nantporth on Thursday July 5, before they travel to Moldovan capital Chisinau to face their opponents a week later at the 10,500 capacity Zimbru Stadium.

Bangor City secretary Gwynfor Jones said: “We don’t really know much about them, but the players will be prepared just the same.

“At the end of the day, we’re seeded in Europe and they’re not, because of our countries’ European rankings.”

There are several international players in among Zimbru’s squad, including captain Oleg Shishkin, who has won 38 caps for Moldova, and City are under no illusions over the challenge that faces them.

Gwynfor Jones added: “They have 12 or 13 professionals playing for them and they play in the national stadium, so we know they’re quite a big club and they’re going to be a challenge.”

The reward for the side who progresses from the tie will be a trip to Switzerland to face Young Boys Bern.

The club has also announced the signing of former Wrexham player Jamie Crowther.

The 20-year old midfielder has played in the Welsh Premier with Cefn Druids, and spent last season at Stalybridge Celtic.

Crowther, who has one Wales under 18 cap to his name, has been added to the squad for the upcoming Europa League tie.

Full squad: Lee Idzi, Peter Hoy, Chris Roberts, Dave Morley, Jamie Brewerton, Michael Johnston, Chris Jones, Craig Garside, Les Davies, Chris Simm, Sion Edwards, Kyle Clancy, Alan Bull, Mark Smyth, John Owen, Liam Brownhill, Damien Allen, Kyle Wilson, Jamie Crowther.

CITY prepared for their tie with a 2-0 victory over fellow Europa League qualifiers Cefn Druids on Tuesday evening (June 26).

Second half goals from Craig Garside and Alan Bull sealed victory for the Citizens in their first pre-season friendly of the summer.

Nev Powell's side will make the trip across the Irish Sea to face Belfast side Linfield at Windsor Park this Saturday June 30, in their second and final preperation match before hosting Zimbru.

FC Zimbru Chisinau: Factfile

  • Chisinau is the capital city of Moldova, a landlocked country which is bordered by Ukraine and Romania.
  • The club was found in 1947, after the end of World War II in the former Moldovan Soviet Republic.
  • The club’s former Soviet-era manager Victor Maslov is seen as one of the most influential coaches in the history of the game, credited with inventing the 4-4-2 formation, being among the first to experiment with players’ nutrition, and even being the man who introduced pressing to football.
  • Zimbru is a Romanian word for a form of eastern European bison, but throughout the club’s history it has functioned different names, such as Dynamo, Moldova, Burevestnik, Avantul and Nistru.
  • The club have won the Divizia Nationala on eight occasions. All eight titles have come after the fall of the USSR, under the re-establishment of the state of Moldova.
  • Their only prior taste of British football was their UEFA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur in 1999/00. After holding Spurs to a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane, they were overcome 3-0 in the home leg.

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