hammers the one everyone wants

The Europa League Cup draw takes place on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland and the team everyone wants is Premier League side West Ham United.

In recent years the opportunity to land such a big club in the first qualifying round has been rare, but the Hammers make up the 102 teams having gained the Respect Fair Play slot.

Four years ago Crusaders landed Fulham, but Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer, who along with treasurer Frazer Follis will be in Nyon for the draw, says West Ham would be bigger.

“In terms of fan base I think West Ham would be a bigger draw,” said Teer.

“You can speculate about this and that but we will get a clearer indication of what we might get on Sunday night when the teams are put into pots.”

Glenavon’s biggest financial Euro advanture was in the 1995-96 season when Werder Bremen came to Mourneview Park.

“That was our most lucrative tie in Europe because of the TV money. That is why everyone wants a club like West Ham.

“Perhaps our biggest game in Europe in terms of opposition was PSV Einhoven in 1977 - a team full of Dutch internationals included the Van de Kerkhof twin brothers who were squad members of the Dutch national team that made the World Cup final in 1974.”

In the qualifying rounds the teams are divided into groups with the same number of seeded and unseeded teams. A few hours before the draw a computer system is used to prepare the groups such that teams of the same association are not in the same group and and that all groups are about equal strength (in terms of ranking).

The draw takes places at 12 noon in Nyon (11.00am local time). Ties are set for July 2 and 9.