WELSH champions TNS will play Northern Irish champions Linfield in the first round of Champions League qualifying. 

Though it is not yet three weeks since Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid teammates lifted the famous trophy, after defeating Liverpool by a single goal in Paris, the draw for the 2022/23 season was made today. 

Oswestry-based The New Saints return for another crack at qualifying for Europe’s most prestigious competition having regained the Cymru Premier title which Connah’s Quay Nomads had won two years in a row. 

The away tie, which will be the second leg, on either July 12 or 13 will take place at Windsor Park the club's home ground since 1905. The 18,500 stadium is also the home of the Northern Ireland national team and is the largest football stadium in Northern Ireland. 

Linfield is the fourth-oldest club on the island of Ireland and founded as Linfield Athletic Club in March 1886 by workers at the Ulster Spinning Company's Linfield Mill. 

The club's badge displays Windsor Castle, in reference to the ground's namesake. 

The Irishmen travel to Oswestry for the first leg which will be played on either July 5 or 6. 

The first leg will represent TNS’ 71st match in Europe but Anthony Limbrick, who last season became the first Australian to manage a side to a title in a European league, will want to add to their tally of just 16 wins. 

READ MORE: Delighted TNS boss Limbrick says Europe plans underway

In the Conference League, Newtown have been drawn against B36 Tórshavn of the Faroe Islands while league runner-up Bala Town are paired against Sligo Rovers of the Irish Republic’s League of Ireland Premier Division. 

Last season - TNS beat Glentoran of Northern Ireland 3-1 on aggregate in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Conference League before a 10-1 thrashing of Kauno Žalgiris of Lithuania in the second qualifying round. 

Viktoria Plzeň of Czechia knocked TNS out of the third qualifying round 4-1 on penalties after a 5-5 aggregate draw. 

This will be Newtown's fifth European adventure and second in a row. Last season the Robins suffered a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of League of Ireland Premier Division Dundalk so will be bidding to improve this summer. 

Their opponents, B36 Tórshavn, are a semi-professional side and among the most successful clubs in the Faroe Islands, having won the Faroe Islands Premier League 11 times, the Faroese Cup 6 times and the Faroese Super Cup once. 

Bala’s opponents Sligo Rovers were founded in 1928 and have been in the League of Ireland since 1934. The club is a co-operative venture, owned by the people of Sligo. 

Rovers have played at The Showgrounds since their inception. 

In 2013, they won a third FAI Cup in four years, and also became the 2012 Premier Division Champions, winning the league with two games to spare. 

In total they have won three league titles, five FAI Cups and two League Cups. 


This summer will be Bala Town's eighth venture into Europe but the Lakesiders have only ever won one tie, beating Valletta, of Malta, 1-0 in 2020 and went out to Larne of Ireland 1-0 last summer. 

The UEFA Europa Conference League first round qualifying first legs will take place on July 7 before the second legs seven days later. 

Bala Town will play their first leg ‘home tie’ at Park Hall, the home ground of the TNS while