- Tuesday June 18th, 2019 @ 19:40
Reaction: Harry Kenny On Facing Norrkoping
Following today's 2019/2020 UEFA Europa League first qualifying round draw, St Patrick's Athletic manager Harry Kenny has been giving his views on the Saints being paired with Swedish side IFK Norrkoping.
CONFIRMED | Our #EuropaLeague home game with @ifknorrkoping will take place in Richmond Park on Thursday, July 11. Our away game will take place in ðŸ‡¸ðŸ‡ªSweden on Thursday, July 18. Match tickets are now on sale exclusively for season ticket holders and patrons until Friday! pic.twitter.com/IJhm1dsZzU— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) 18 Meitheamh 2019
"It is a very difficult draw," Kenny admitted to stpatsfc.com when reflecting on the draw. "Any Swedish club football teams will be very, very good. The teams we would know the most in this country would be Malmo. This Norrkoping outfit finished second in their league last year, have won plenty of titles over the years and competed in Europe."
The Saints will host Norrkoping in Richmond Park on Thursday 11 July in the first leg, with the return leg to take place in Sweden on Thursday July 18.
"They will be very experienced with a number of internationals in their team, and obviously the big name in their side is Henrik Larsson's son [Jordan Larsson]. So it is a big game to look forward to, but we have a couple of league games in between that which will be just as important so we will get our analyst onto it and he will prepare in great detail and we will look at that over the next few days."
St Pat's have history of facing Swedish opposition with the club's last tie against a Swedish side coming in the Europa League when the Saints defeated Elfsborg 4-3 on aggregate in 2008 in the UEFA Cup, drawing 2-2 away and picking up a 2-1 win in Richmond Park.
Norrkoping striker Jordan Larsson is son to former Glasgow Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United striker Henrik. Indeed Henrik Larsson played for Celtic in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers in 1998 against the Saints when the sides drew 0-0 in Glasgow, before Pat's lost in Dublin with Larsson scoring once in a 2-0 victory for the Scottish side in the second leg.
**article updated to include dates of matches as of 8.57pm on Tuesday, 18 June**