Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Thursday July 30 2009
18:00 hours tonight (Thursday) sees Fulham Football Club venture forth into European football.
We`ll be engaging in combat with the little known Lithuanian side, FK Vetra, in the first leg of a qualifying tie.
Roy Hodgson has taken his strongest possible squad to Lithuania as Fulham attempt to quell the possibility of coming a cropper at the first hurdle, the squad being - Stockdale, Schwarzer, Zuberbuhler, Paintsil, Stoor, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Baird, Konchesky, Murphy, Etuhu, Gera, Andranik, Seol, Nevland, E Johnson, A Johnson, Zamora, Dempsey.
The only noticeable absentee being Simon Davies who is still recovering from the foot injury that disrupted the tail end of his season.
The foray into Lithuania represents something akin to a trip into the unknown, a fact Paul Konchesky has picked up on in the pre-match build up in comments he`s made on the official web site, remarking,
'I've never been out to Lithuania and I don't think many of the other players have either.'
'It's going to be a first for most of the team. It's going to be a hard test as we don't know too much about FK Vetra but when we get out there we'll have videos to watch and a team meeting."
'It doesn't matter who the opposition is, whether it be a non-league team or a Champions League side, you must prepare the same."
'As I said, we'll get to know much more about the opposition when we get out to Lithuania and sit down with the manager and have a meeting."
'We've been preparing for this game like we would for a Premier League game."
'We need to win on Thursday and hopefully we'll come back to the Cottage with a goal advantage having not conceded any."
'We'll take it game by game and, if we can get the result we want from the third round, then we'll take it from there.'
I guess the nearest most of us Fulham fans will get to witness the action in Vilinus is via the internet.
Let`s hope it all turns out in our favour!
Date:Thursday July 30 2009
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