The Newcastle United manager Glenn Roeder said yesterday that his side faces "a trip into the unknown" after being drawn to face FK Ventspils of Latvia in the second qualifying round of the Uefa Cup.
Newcastle will play in Latvia on 10 August and host the second leg at St James' Park a fortnight later, with the winners advancing to the first round proper.
The other eye-catching tie with British involvement pits Gretna, newly promoted to the Scottish First Division, against Derry.
The eircom League side guaranteed their place in the draw yesterday by completing a 2-0 aggregate win over IFK Gothenburg on Wednesday. If European football is a continuation of the Gretna fairytale - they became the first Scottish club from below the top tier to qualify for Europe, by reaching the Scottish Cup final in May - they may have to do without the vocal support of their owner, Brooks Mileson. He has been seriously ill in hospital with internal bleeding and was released only on Thursday.
Roeder said he would take nothing for granted against the Latvians. "We will have Ventspils watched so nothing will be left to chance," he said. He will also seek advice from Bristol City's manager, Gary Johnson, a friend who was Latvia's national team manager from 1999 to 2001.
Uefa Cup draw
Second qualifying round: APOEL (Cyp) v Trabzonspor (Tur); Hapoel Tel Aviv (Isr) v Domzale (Sloven); CSKA Sofia (Bul) v FK Hajduk Kula (Serb); Roeselare (Bel) v Ethnikos Achnas (Cyp); OFK Belgrade (Serb) v Auxerre (Fr); Dynamo Bucuresti (Rom) v Beitar Jerusalem (Isr); FK Partizan (Serb) v Maribor (Sloven); Sarajevo (Bos) v Rapid Bucuresti (Rom); Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv (Isr) v Lokomotiv Sofia (Bul); Omonia (Cyp) v Litex Lovech (Bul); Tirana (Alb) v Kayserispor (Tur); Artmedia Bratislava (Slovak) v Dynamo Minsk (Bela); SV Ried (Aut ) v FC Sion (Swit); Fehervar (Hun) v Grasshoppers (Swit); Karvan (Azer) v Slavia Prague (Cz Rep); FC Chornomorets Odessa (Ukr) v Wisla Plock (Pol); FC Basle (Swit) v FC Vaduz (Liech); Zimbru (Mol) v FC Metalurh Zaporizhya (Ukr); SV Mattersburg (Aut) v Wisla Krakow (Pol); Hertha Berlin (Ger) v Ameri (Geor); Rubin Kazan (Rus) v BATE (Bela); Marseilles (Fr) v Young Boys Berne (Swit); IK Start (Nor) v Drogheda (Irl); OB Odense (Den) v Llanelli (Wal); Kaunas (Lith) v Randers (Den); FC Twente (Neth) v Levadia (Est); FK Ventspils (Lat) v Newcastle (Eng); Brann Bergen (Nor) v Atvidaberg (Swe); Molde (Nor) v Skonto Riga (Lat); Flora (Est) v Brondby (Den); Suduva (Lith) v FC Bruges (Bel); Gretna FC (Sco) v Derry (Irl).(First legs to be played: 10 Aug; second legs: 24 Aug).