FFUK Champions League – First Qualifying Round
The simultaneous carnage and let down that was blank Gameweek 28 heralded the start of the FFUK Champions League proper. The previous two weeks had seen the Preliminary Round contested by four teams playing through semi-finals and a final for the right to join the First Qualifying Round. Vince Siracusa, and his San Marino-based outfit SP Tre Penne made it through to be joined by 31 other teams entering at this stage.
These 32 teams played-off in Gameweek 28 for the right to take part in the Second Qualifying Round to be played out in Gameweek 29 – as a reminder there is still a Third Qualifying Round and Playoff Round to go before we even get to the Group Stage!
So here are the results from the First Qualifying Round:
|sean colohan||Nõmme Kalju (EST)||24||vs||26||Steven Watson||Shkëndija (MKD)||Steven Watson||Shkëndija (MKD)|
|Steve Cronin||Sūduva (LTU)||18||vs||48||James Coffen||Crvena zvezda (SRB)||James Coffen||Crvena zvezda (SRB)|
|Stuart Allen||Ararat-Armenia (ARM)||27||vs||32||Nick Johns||AIK (SWE)||Nick Johns||AIK (SWE)|
|Steven Almond||Astana (KAZ)||22||vs||29||Sam Blake||CFR Cluj (ROU)||Sam Blake||CFR Cluj (ROU)|
|Jez Penn||Ludogorets (BUL)||28||vs||46||Paul Baker||Ferencváros (HUN)||Paul Baker||Ferencváros (HUN)|
|Allan Tomkins||Celtic (SCO)||37||vs||52||Neill Goodwin||Sarajevo (BIH)||Neill Goodwin||Sarajevo (BIH)|
|Pete Cronin||Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)||28||vs||24||Robert Simpson||Saburtalo (GEO)||Pete Cronin||Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)|
|Matt Packham||F91 Dudelange (LUX)||28||vs||28||Joe Warrington||Valletta (MLT)||Joe Warrington||Valletta (MLT)|
|Damien O’Neill||Partizani (ALB)||34||vs||29||Ben Pycz||Qarabağ (AZE)||Damien O’Neill||Partizani (ALB)|
|Fabian Mascoll||Slovan Bratislava (SVK)||27||vs||40||James Downie||Sutjeska (MNE)||James Downie||Sutjeska (MNE)|
|Tom Aitchison||Linfield (NIR)||14||vs||53||Mike Cowans-Kebby||Rosenborg (NOR)||Mike Cowans-Kebby||Rosenborg (NOR)|
|Haroon Rashid||Valur Reykjavík (ISL)||28||vs||39||Duncan Galloway||Maribor (SVN)||Duncan Galloway||Maribor (SVN)|
|Danny Burgess||Dundalk (IRL)||48||vs||46||Roni Friel||Riga (LVA)||Danny Burgess||Dundalk (IRL)|
|Jason Beal||The New Saints (WAL)||39||vs||36||Vince .Siracusa||SP Tre Penne (SMR)||Jason Beal||The New Saints (WAL)|
|Richard Green||HJK Helsinki (FIN)||46||vs||24||Chris Norman||HB Tórshavn (FRO)||Richard Green||HJK Helsinki (FIN)|
|David Harrison||BATE Borisov (BLR)||19||vs||29||Adam Vardy||Piast Gliwice (POL)||Adam Vardy||Piast Gliwice (POL)|
All the details can be found on the FFUK CL Google Sheet.
Vince’s run has come to an end – after progressing through the Preliminary Round, he fell to Bealer’s The New Saints 39-36. Roni Friel got really unlucky – his 46 points would have been enough to see off almost every other opponent …. except the one he drew. Danny Burgess’ free hit paid off with a 48 point haul. There was one draw, between Joe Warrington and Matt Packham. Joe progresses by virtue of a higher overall rank.
Just a reminder that hits DO COUNT when we tally gameweek scores. Sorry Coolers – your -12 saw your team edged out by Steven Watson.
UEFA have very kindly already completed the draws for the rounds we’re currently working through, so no need for us to duplicate the effort! All managers progressing keep their team and take the place of the team that won the respective tie in real life. The 16 teams progressing from the First Qualifying Round have been joined by a further eight teams – hence we have 12 ties to be played in Gameweek 29:
|Sam Blake||CFR Cluj (ROU)||vs||Justin Mc Carthy||Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)|
|Adam Vardy||Piast Gliwice (POL)||vs||Mike Cowans-Kebby||Rosenborg (NOR)|
|Jason Beal||The New Saints (WAL)||vs||Chris Galloway||FC Kobenhavn (DEN)|
|Paul Baker||Ferencváros (HUN)||vs||Joe Warrington||Valletta (MLT)|
|Danny Burgess||Dundalk (IRL)||vs||Damien O’Neill||Partizani (ALB)|
|Pete Cronin||Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)||vs||Duncan Hannigan||GNK Dinamo (CRO)|
|Neill Goodwin||Sarajevo (BIH)||vs||Steven Watson||Shkëndija (MKD)|
|James Coffen||Crvena zvezda (SRB)||vs||Richard Green||HJK Helsinki (FIN)|
|James Downie||Sutjeska (MNE)||vs||Richard Willis-Hutchinson||Apoel FC (CYP)|
|Duncan Galloway||Maribor (SVN)||vs||Nick Johns||AIK (SWE)|
|Daron Russell||Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)||vs||Andrew Fogaty||Olympiacos (GRE)|
|Peter Hayes||PSV Eindhoven (NED)||vs||Toby Glicher||Basel (SUI)|
There’s a couple of tasty looking ties in there as Blakey takes on Justin, The Bealer takes on our very own Chairman, Mr Chris Galloway and co-Chair Pete C plays Dunc. Great to see James Coffen and his Red Star Belgrade team progress – they managed to get all the way to the Group Stage from the First Qualifying round in real life!
Good luck to all those teams participating this week as the FFUK Champions League bandwagon rolls on!