Lech Poznan clash would be massive boost for C oleraine, says Jamie McGonigle
Coleraine striker Jamie McGonigle admits his team could benefit from a financial bonanza should they negotiate their Europa League opener against FK Haugesund.
The Bannsiders, who finished third in the Danske Premiership last season, travel to Norway next week for a first round meeting, knowing that a positive result could earn them a possible dream ticket against Polish side Lech Poznan.
Fresh from making his Northern Ireland U-21 debut against Estonia, McGonigle stresses it would be foolish of his team to even contemplate looking beyond next week’s tie.
“I’ve managed to get a bit of information on FK Haugesund,” said McGonigle. “They’ve conceded only one goal in their last five games. And they defeated the league leaders Rosenborg 1-0 at the weekend, so that tells us all we need to know about them.
“It will be difficult, especially over there. But I’m sure the boss will have us set up well. We will want to make it difficult for them to break us down.
“It’s important to get some sort of result to keep the tie alive to give us a chance when they come to the Showgrounds.
“The incentive is massive. If we could manage to get through, we would meet either Lech Poznan or Macedonian side FK Pelsister in the second round.
“That Polish side have a massive fan base.
“It would be a huge financial boost for the club, but that’s a long way down the road at this stage.
“Our immediate thoughts are on FK Haugesund, we can’t afford to look any further than that.”
• Northern Ireland’s U-15 Schoolboys side registered a scoreless draw in the first of their two international friendlies against Austria’s U-15s.