Glasgow City prepare for the UEFA Women's Champions League
Glasgow City arrived in Enschade in the Netherlands this afternoon ahead of the qualification round of the UEFA Women’s Champions League which starts on Thursday.
The Scottish Champions face a very challenging group and are up against FC Twente, the Champions of the newly formed joint Dutch/Belgium League, the Champions of Croatia, WFC Osijek and the best side in Malta, Birkirkara FC.
Entering the first round as top seeds, Glasgow City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black looks at the opposition his team will face.
He said, “Last year Birkirkara finished bottom of their group, they lost all three matches losing heavily to the Romanian champions Cluj before being beaten 1-0 and 3-1 by the Portuguese and Northern Irish League winners. They are the fourth pot team in the group and are appearing in the Champions League for the third time. Two seasons ago we met Mosta the Champions of Malta in Serbia, and we comfortably won the tie on the way to topping the group. Birkirkara have been Champions of Malta on five occasions and we will give them the respect they are due.
“Osijek are a team we know well having faced them last year in Finland at the same stage of the competition. Without doubt our performance on the day was as poor a performance as I have seen from us. We went into the game not knowing a lot about them and therefore are in a much better position this year. Osijek have been regular participants in Europe since its inception. In fact they took part in the first ever Women’s Champions League and flew to Scotland where they played out a 3-3 draw with Ayr United.
“Their star player is Croatian internationalist Maja Joscak. She is a very talented player and as well as providing opportunities for her team mates has proven to be a regular goal scorer. Goalkeeper Doris Bacic has now moved on and is plying her trade in England with Arsenal. Therefore we will face a new goalkeeper this year. Osijek have been Champions of Croatia 17 times and only two seasons ago topped their group as hosts to reach the last 32. Therefore we can expect a very tough match again this year.
“Twente are without doubt the team that present us with our most difficult challenge. Interestingly it is the first time a Dutch side have had to qualify from the first round since 2008 when we finished as group winners with Dutch Champions AZ Alkmaar as runners up. Currently they have several internationalists, although Sherida Spitse is their main player. She was in the European Championships in Sweden this month as part of the Dutch squad. They are a team with a lot of pace in wide areas and physical strength through the centre of the team. With both ourselves and Twente littered with full internationals we fully expect this game to be played at a very high level. Women’s football in the Netherlands has taken a huge step forward and the introduction of a cross border league with Belgium has certainly raised the standard. I am certain that the next few years will see teams from this new league make a big impact in Europe.”
Glasgow City (SCO) v WFC Osijek (CRO)
Thursday 8th August, 19:00 CET
Glasgow City (SCO) v Birkirkara FC (MLT)
Saturday 10th August, 16:00 CET
FC Twente 65 (NED) v Glasgow City (SCO)
Tuesday 13th August, 17:00
De Grolsh Veste Stadiun Enschade
You will be able to follow City’s progress through our live twitter feeds @GlasgowCityFC with regular updates also on our Facebook Glasgowcity.Fc and website www.glasgowcityladiesfc.co.uk