IT is being billed as the biggest game in the football club’s long history.
The Cymru Alliance part-timers of Cefn Druids are living the dream as they prepare to enter European competition for the first time.
The Druids take on Finnish side MyPa-47 in the Europa League first qualifying round, with the opening leg to be played at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground on Thursday.
Cefn Druids chairman Brian Mackie said: “We really are living the dream and enjoying this experience.
“I think it is fair to say this is going to be the biggest game in the club’s history.
“If we are successful, the next stage has already been drawn so we know who we would be playing – Rapid Bucharest.”
Mr Mackie said if the match at the Racecourse could attract a gate of around 1,000 he would be happy.
One thing is for certain: the travelling support from MyPa-47 won’t be doing much to bolster the crowd figures. They are expecting to bring tens of fans.
But Mr Mackie said: “This is going to be their 20th season in European football.
“They are an experienced outfit, who in the past have played against the likes of Liverpool.”
And although having the chance of playing such a high profile game is massive plus for the side, there are still some difficulties involved.
“The biggest problem we are having is organising the travelling arrangements for the second leg,” explained Mr Mackie.
“Because the timescale involved to get everything in place has been quite short, it has meant a few headaches.
“We haven’t been able to book enough seats on one plane so will have to split up into two groups.
“We both set off from Manchester, but one of us will get to Finland via Copenhagen while the other will get there through Munich.”
Mr Mackie said he didn’t know how many Druids fans would be travelling over to Finland to cheer their side on in the second leg, taking place on July 12.
The Leader went out on to the streets of Wrexham to ask people for their views on the big game.
John O’Keefe, of Rhostyllen, said: “I haven’t heard about the match, but I wish Cefn Druids all the best.
“When TNS played in Europe I went to the game at Anfield. I don’t know about the Finnish side.”
Carol O’Keefe, of Rhostyllen, said: “I’m interested in football but I didn’t know about this game.”
Peter Jones, of Pentre Bach, said: “I have been a Manchester United supporter since 1948. It would be great if Cefn Druids get a good result.”
Jeremy Jones, of Rhosnesni, said: “It would be a boost for sport in the local area if one of our teams does well in Europe.”
Best wishes have also been sent to the team from Cefn Community Council.
Chairman Ken Bathers said: “Everyone is talking about this match. I will be going. It is a massive event for all of us.
“We wish them well and hope they get a good result.”
Founded in 1947, MyPa have notched up plenty of European games in their relatively brief history.
The club has played in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Cup and Intertoto Cup.
They have faced many top teams including Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven. In 2005 they reached the first round of UEFA Cup but lost the decisive match against Swiss side Grasshoppers 4-1on aggregate.
MyPa currently play in the Finnish Premier Division, Veikkausliiga.
Druids can trace their roots all the way back to the 1860s.
They are competing in the Europa League after gaining qualification as Welsh Cup runners up.
The club play in the Huws Gray (Cymru) Alliance league and are the first ever team from the second tier of Welsh football to qualify for Europe.
Chairman Brian Mackie says Cefn Druids are standing by their claim to be the oldest football club in Wales, despite Wrexham now claiming to have been founded in 1864.
Talking about the new date for the formation of the Reds, Mr Mackie said: “There is a newspaper article reporting on a game between a town club and the fire brigade, but it doesn’t state who the town club is.
“Our club can trace its origins back to 1869 and Druids started in 1872.”