Scotland’s double-winning PYS Saltires are heading to Holland this week to cause a shock in the Uefa Futsal Champions League.
The nation’s champions head to the Continent aiming to lay the ghost of the club’s previous sortie into Europe.
After sealing the SFL Super League title for the first time in five years, Saltires hope their lengthy preparations stand them in good stead this time around.
Flying out to Holland this weekend, the Scots champs have been dealt a testing clash against the Auld Enemy first of all as they face London side Helvecia on Tuesday.
Then it’s hosts Hovocubo on Wednesday before Gibraltan outfit Lynx on Friday.
And Saltires’ Kyle Ballingall is backing the Perth side to improve on their two previous attempts in Europe.
He told Pivotal Sport: “We try not to mention the last time we were in Europe!
“We have played twice, the first time we lost 5-4 and 2-0 so we competed but the last time wasn’t good.
“We only had two or three of the team that had won the league and our preparation wasn’t anywhere like we have done this time.
“But we are five years on now and five years more experienced.
“We had to take it on the chin and learn from it.
“That’s lingered a bit because we were nowhere near what we could be.
“We hope this year with the preparations we’ve done and the team we have we can shock one of the two seeds, there’s no reason why we can’t.
“We have pretty much the same squad that played last season so that’s a benefit. Now we have to take it up a level.”
👤SQUAD LIST👤— Perth Youth Futsal (@PYFSaltires) August 23, 2019
The final two outfield players are not to be missed! Connor McLaren and new signing Michael Kennedy complete the squad for next week. Connor has 5 goals in 7 games at international level and Michael was part of the Scottish Cup winning side. Next up… goalkeepers pic.twitter.com/9AIZAG4LVl
The Perth outfit have been thorough in their preparations for this trip, playing numerous friendlies against local sides as well as beating English teams Sheffield and York. They will also have a considerable playing staff heading out to support the players.
Ballingall added: “We’ve been having days where we do training sessions and then play a game after to try to replicate what it will be like out there.
“It’s very intense, we play two days, then a rest and then play the third game.
“There’s no real way to replicate that but we’ve done what we can.
“We’ve done a bit of research on the opponents, watched a couple of games, but we know if we play like we can then we hope we can put a show on ourselves.
“So the focus has been on ourselves and what we can do.”