Date: 20th May 2008 at 9:32am
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Now that the fact we won the FA cup is starting to fully sinking in for everyone, I would suspect, we also have the reality of embarking on our first ever European involvement and next season’s uefa cup looks pretty tasty to me!

People play down the importance of the uefa cup, with its bigger, more lucrative brother the champions league often looking down its nose at it, but you try telling the winner of the uefa cup that is does not mean anything these days and they will tell you otherwise.

The format is bizarre these days, and the fact that champions league ‘drop-outs’, teams that were not good enough for that competition are allowed to then come into the uefa cup is a farce but it is still promising to be some competition…

You tell me that the thought of playing someone like AC Milan, Paris St-Germain, Benfica, Valencia or Ajax does not appeal to you and I will call you a liar – there are some fantastic clubs entered into next seasons tournament and just think we could, and all being well will pit our wits against them.

Imagine playing at the San Siro or the Amsterdam Arena and although the chances are they will make it through the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Marseille do still need to get through a champions league qualifier to avoid dropping into the uefa cup.

Sevilla won the uefa cup two years running before stepping up to the champions league – they are back in the uefa cup next season. Sampdoria, Borussia Dortmund, Feyenoord and Brugge are just a few of the other big time names that we could come up against.

We have a two-legged tie to play in the first round – which no matter where it is I am desperate to go and as a season ticket holder I would imagine that I would have first dibs? – that should we get through we would then move into the group phase, which would then make the chances of facing someone like AC Milan even more possible – I bet they would not fancy coming to Fratton would they!

Were all going on a European tour,
A European tour,
A European tour…

Dates for the Diary:
Friday 29th August – Uefa cup 1st round draw
Thursday 18th September – Uefa cup 1st round 1st leg
Thursday 2nd October – Uefa cup 1st round 2nd leg
Wednesday 20th May 2009 – Uefa cup final!

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