Cliftonville: Reds learn European opponents after historic cup-winning season

Irish Cup holders Cliftonville will face either FK Auda (Latvia) or B36 Tórshavn (Faroe Islands)

Cliftonville celebrate with the fans during an open top bus tour across Belfast after winning the Irish Cup oat Windsor on Saturday.
Cliftonville learn their UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying fate in Zurich with the draw for the second round of Qualifying games determined. PICTURE: COLM LENAGAN

IRISH cup winners Cliftonville are set to face either Latvian or Faroese opposition in their quest for qualification for the UEFA Europa Conference League.

The Reds, who won their first Irish Cup in 45 years when they defeated Linfield at Windsor Park last season, will play either FK Auda of Latvia or B36 Tórshavn from the Faroe Islands.

Linfield, if they defeat Stjarnan of Iceland in the first qualifying round, will face either Bala Town of Wales or Paide Linnameeskond of Estonia.

The south Belfast outfit finished runners-up in both the Irish Premiership and the Irish Cup, however, they won the Irish League Cup last term.

Crusaders could look forward to a Polish away trip to face Legia Warszawa should they overcome Welsh side Caernarfon Town FC in the first qualifying round.

Derry City will be looking forward to taking on Danish side Copenhagen, who finished third in the Danish Superliga last season, but first must beat FCB Magpies of Gibraltar.

Derry City Michael Duffy (centre) celebrates his goal against Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin  24-5-2024
Derry will be hoping for a Danish away trip should they overcome Gibraltar opponents in UEFA Europa Conference League Qualifying round 1. Picture Margaret McLaughlin 24-5-2024 (MARGARET MCLAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY )

Former Ireland international Damien Duff’s Shelbourne could play FC Zürich, should they also beat Gibraltar opposition in the shape of St Joseph’s FC.

St Patrick’s Athletic are the only Irish side that are certain of their next European game with Liechtensteiners FC Vaduz, who will travel to Inchicore for the first leg.

The loser of Shamrock Rovers’ Champions League tie with Vikingur Reykjavík will play FK Borac Banja Luka or KF Egnatia from Albania.

The first round of qualifying games will take place on July 11 (first leg) and 18 (second leg) followed by the second round of qualifying on July 25 (first leg)and August 1 (second leg).

Kevin O’Hara scored twice to help Hamilton win promotion to the cinch Scottish Championship with victory at Inverness
The UEFA Europa Conference League presents clubs with a third chance to compete in Europe, with lesser UEFA associations seeing this as an opportunity to be represented on the continental stage (Joe Giddens/PA)

Irish UEFA Europa Conference League ties:

Champions League Path

Vikingur Reykjavík (ISL) - Shamrock Rovers FC (IRL) V FK Borac Banja Luka (BIH) - KF Egnatia (ALB)

Main Path

FC Copenhagen v FCB Magpies (GIB)/Derry City

Stjarnan (ISL)/Linfield FC (NIR) v Bala Town FC (WAL)/Paide Linnameeskond (EST)

Legia Warszawa (POL) v Caernarfon Town FC (WAL) /Crusaders FC (NIR)

FK Auda (LVA) /B36 Tórshavn (FRO) v Cliftonville FC (NIR)

FC Zürich (SUI) v Shelbourne FC (IRL)/St Joseph’s FC (GIB)

St Patrick’s Athletic (IRL) v FC Vaduz (LIE)