castle green twente

After months of buildup, Saturday will see Stranraer Football Club finally host its first continental opposition since Austrian side GAK Graz visited in the 1950s.

Over 500 supporters from Enschede are expected to travel to Wigtownshire. Some to follow their team, others to further a friendship.

For Stranraer fans, it'll be a chance to watch their team go up against a giant of Dutch football. Like any good David v Goliath contest, the contrasts are stark - but that's where the romance is.

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Part-time footballers versus internationalists. Two-time Scottish third tier winners against the 2010 Dutch top tier champions. Lesser-travelled underdogs meeting a team which contested the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage.

As far as a contest goes, the odds are stacked against Stranraer - but as a spectacle, it should be tremendous.

Geography

enschede cityscape

It's 824 miles to drive from Enschede to Stranraer, or 520 miles as the crow flies.

Just as Stranraer is closer to Northern Ireland than many places in Scotland, Enschede is just a few kilometres from the border with Germany, on the eastern edge of the Netherlands.

enschede map

Current players

In keeping with their top-flight status, FC Twente have an enviable squad of experienced internationals.

haris vuckic

Perhaps the most recognisable name for Scottish football fans is attacking midfielder Haris Vuckic (pictured above), a Slovenian international who scored 8 goals in 15 appearances on loan for Rangers from Newcastle in 2015.

Vuckic made 7 appearances in 8 seasons at St James' Park, before joining Twente this summer.

oussama assaidi

Moroccan international winger Oussama Assaidi (pictured above) is another recent addition. He returned to the Dutch league in December 2016, for the first time since joining Liverpool from Heerenveen for £2.4million in 2012, having also spent time on loan at Stoke.

Assaidi has 17 caps for his country, scoring twice.

jos hooiveld

Keeping the Blues attack at bay will be Jos Hooiveld (pictured above), a Dutch centre back who played for Celtic in 2010/11, before making over 50 appearances for Southampton.

The Tukkers squad also includes internationals from Finland and South Africa.

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Despite being in the 3rd tier, Stranraer's team features a fair bit of Scottish top flight experience.

Jamie Hamill (pictured above, Kilmarnock and Hearts), David Barron (St Mirren), Ryan Wallace (Hearts), Steven Bell and Ryan Thomson (Dunfermline) in particular are no strangers to a big game.

Former players

Gregory Tade

Notable former Stranraer players include Norwich goalkeeper Michael McGovern, who starred for Northern Ireland in Euro 2016; former Celtic, Southampton and Burnley defender Danny Fox; and Gregory Tadé (pictured), who made a remarkable journey from fourth-tier Scottish football to the Champions League with Romanian sides Cluj and Steaua Bucharest.

FC Twente's alumni include household names Ronald de Boer, Theo Snelders, Michael Mols, Dedryck Boyata and Arthur Numan, as well as Scotland international - and former Stenhousemuir manager - Scott Booth.

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More recently, the Tukkers have seen several players move to the English Premiership, including Dusan Tadic, Marko Arnautovic (pictured), Leroy Fer and Nacer Chadli.

Managers

farrell hake

Stranraer have Stevie Farrell and FC Twente have Rene Hake.

Born in Coevorden, in north east Netherlands, Hake has been involved at various youth levels and was assistant manager before taking on the first team role. He guided FC Twente to 7th in the Eredivisie last season.

Farrell returned in January to a club where he has had spells both as a player and as assistant manager, and successfully guided the Blues out of the relegation zone to 7th.

Events

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A brief rundown of the events Stranraer FC will be involved in over the weekend:

Friday 7 July

10am onwards, Stair Park
All-access fun day with bouncy castle and slides

2pm to 7pm, Stair Park
Youth football and coaching with Allan Jenkins and coaches
5 a side charity fans' tournament
Coaching with former Stranraer players
D&G Blood Bikes stall and display

9pm until late, Stranraer FC Fitba' Bar
Live music from Ulterior Motive

Saturday 8 July

10.30am to 2pm, Stranraer Academy 3G
South of Scotland League team showcase:
- 10.30am, Stranraer v Dundela
- 11.45am, Dundela v Islandmagee
- 1pm, Stranraer v Islandmagee

12noon, Castle Green, town centre
Welcome to our guests from Enschede, with pipers and highland dancers

3pm, Stair Park
STRANRAER v FC TWENTE
Lochryan Pipe Band, Blue Bombshells dance troupe and D&G Blood Bikes display

9pm until late, Stranraer FC Fitba' Bar
Live music from Ulterior Motive
Soul, funk, disco and ska set from DJ Toby

Bars

fitba bar external

Stranraer FC Fitba' Bar will be open in the town centre throughout the weekend, and will provide a very warm welcome to revellers from Enschede, as well as locals enjoying the festivities. We'll have live music on both Friday and Saturday night from local band Ulterior Motive, along with a set from DJ Toby on the Saturday.

The Pavilion Bar at Stair Park is very popular with both home and away supporters on matchday, and we expect it to be buzzing on Saturday.

Admission

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Admission at the gate is £15 for adults, and £10 for those aged 65 and over. Under 17s go free.

View more details on Stair Park.

Coverage

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As ever, we'll be covering the game live on Twitter at @StranraerFC. You can also follow our visitors FC Twente on their social media accounts for news throughout the weekend.

SPFL 3L1 6474

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 12 26
2 Raith Rovers 11 26
3 Alloa Athletic 13 21
4 Arbroath 13 20
5 East Fife 13 18
6 STRANRAER 12 17
7 Albion Rovers 13 16
8 Airdrieonians 13 15
9 Forfar Athletic 13 12
10 Queen's Park 13 8

Fixtures


00 Stranraer FC 2015 Logo
3 Number Lotto
Sunday 12 November 2017

Numbers: 11, 13, 14
1 winner at £1000

Congratulations to:
N. Henry, Belmont Rd, Stranraer