Haverfordwest County make the journey to the Faroe Islands this week to take on B36 Tórshavn in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round.
After recording a famous victory over KF Shkëndija of North Macedonia in the first qualifying round – our first-ever win in Europe – the Bluebirds will be hoping to create more history when they take on the White Tigers over the next week or so.
Ahead of Thursday’s first leg, we’ve taken a closer look at our opponents to find out what we can expect.
About the club
The club, which was founded in March 1936, is based in the capital of Tórshavn. Located in the southern part on the east coast of Streymoy, it’s home to just over 13,000 people and is known for its houses, which are painted in the colours of the rainbow.
B36’s founding came about when a group of young people were keen to play football, but had no opportunity to do so for the existing team, HB Tórshavn. Having initially battled for the right to call the Gundadalur Stadium home, the dispute was eventually resolved by the mayor of Tórshavn, who deemed that the ground was to be shared. This is signified by the two main stands, which adorn the name and colours of the two clubs. The ground, which is a 5,000-capacity all-seater arena, was opened in 1911.
B36 have won the Faroe Islands Premier League on 11 occasions, most recently in 2015, and also have seven Faroe Islands Cups to their name, with their last success coming in 2021. They are currently 16 games into the 2023 season, with their league season taking place between March and October, and they currently sit second, having won 12 and lost 4 of their 16 matches to date.
The White Tigers are experienced campaigners on the European stage, having played a total of 59 matches since their maiden campaign in the 1992-93 European Cup Winners’ Cup.
They have since gone on to compete in the Intertoto Cup and all three European club competitions, with their best performance coming in the 2006-07 season when they reached the second qualifying round of the Champions League before losing to Fenerbahçe, and then in 2020-21 when they got to the third qualifying round of the Europa League, where they were beaten over one leg by CSKA Sofia.
Last summer, they advanced to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League, where they lost out to Danish outfit Viborg 5-1 on aggregate, after seeing off Borac Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Tre Fiori (San Marino).
This will be the third time that B36 have met a Welsh side in Europe, after their two encounters with The New Saints in 2015-16 and 2020-21. The first meeting came in the Champions League, where the Saints ran out 6-2 winners on aggregate, before the Faroese outfit exacted revenge when they clinched a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory after the one-legged tie had ended 2-2.
Dan Brimsvík’s side booked their place in the second qualifying round with a 2-0 aggregate win over Paide Linnameeskond of Estonia. The first leg finished 0-0 at the Gundadalur Stadium, before B36 scored twice in extra time to secure victory on the road.
The B36 squad unsurprisingly consists mainly of players from the Faroe Islands, while there is also representation from Sweden, Afghanistan, Latvia and Poland.
Two to keep an eye out for are Andrass Johansen and Hannes Agnarsson, two academy talents who have gone on to become fixtures in the first team.
Johansen, a 21-year-old winger, was called up to the national squad for the EURO 2024 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Albania last month, as was forward Agnarsson.
The team are captained by Andrias Eriksen, who has played over 200 times for the club since making his debut in 2014, while striker Valērijs Šabala has been capped more than 50 times for Latvia.
The man in charge
First game, first win for Dan Brimsvík. The young 33-year-old coach spent six year in Lyngby Boldklub (Danish Superliga) and were the Head Coach of their successful U-15 team. #BetriDeildin https://t.co/MxB6eO7ciY pic.twitter.com/UPUbI2qm4M
— Færøsk fodbold (@FaeroskFodbold) March 7, 2021
B36 are managed by Dan Brimsvík, a 36-year-old who is in his first senior managerial role having been appointed in January 2021.
Having been involved in the coaching setup at junior level with B36, Brimsvík has also coached at youth level with Danish outfits Hvidovre IF and Lyngby Boldklub before being appointed to the top job with B36.
His age makes him one of the younger coaches in European club competitions, and he has no playing career to speak of with coaching having very much been his focus from a young age.
To buy tickets for the second leg, which will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday, August 3 (Kick-off 19:45), please follow this link!