SHAMROCK Rovers boss Stephen Bradley admits that the roster of potential opponents in next season’s Champions League first round already looks daunting as his team return to competition for the first time in nine years.
Although the current Champions League season is not over yet, with Manchester City facing Chelsea in the final at Porto in two weeks, many clubs are already planning the 2021/22 campaign, with the draw for the qualifying rounds at carry out. June 15. The first qualifying round will be played on July 6/7 and July 13/14.
The rovers know they won’t be ranked for the draw and Bradley has seen their potential opponents in the first round before, with names like Belgrade Red Star, Legia Warsaw, Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos at the same qualifying stadium. with Malmö, Ferenvcaros and Dinamo Tbilisi, although the list is not complete as a number of European leagues are still undecided.
“I have seen the teams that we could possibly get in the European draw and it seems very, very difficult because we are not ranked,” said Bradley. “They are really strong, at a very high level, but again, the only way to improve is to be there and do well in Europe and improve in terms of coefficient and points, that’s is what we need to do. “
Teams eliminated in the first round stage advance to the new Europa League conference, while teams beaten in the second round stage advance to the Europa League.
Meanwhile, Bradley says he has no plans to add to his squad this summer except for the arrival of Richie Towell who is eligible for the Hoops on July 1 following his move from Salford. City.
“If the right one becomes available that makes us better as a group and fits in with whatever we do, then it’s a case for me and Stephen McPhail to bring that to the board and see what they say, but we will not try to add a player just for fun, if the one we have been watching for a few years becomes available, we will bring him to the board, but now there is nothing left ”, a- he added.