Greg Draper eyes Europa League joy for The New Saints

Greg Draper
Draper made his New Zealand debut against Fiji

New Zealand striker Greg Draper hopes a run of good form for The New Saints in Europe will earn him a national recall.

The 21-year-old hopes to be involved against Cliftonville in the Europa League first qualifying round first leg at Park Hall on Thursday.

Draper is eager to add to the one international cap he won in 2008.

He told BBC Radio Shropshire: "I've got to be playing regularly to get into the Kiwi side, so it's important to make a good start."

The forward joined Saints after a successful spell with Basinsgtoke last season, scoring 15 goals.

"I came because of the chance to play in Europe," he told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"This is a great club to be at and to have the opportunity to play in Europe made my decision very easy."

Draper lived in Somerset until he was 12, when his family moved to Christchurch in New Zealand.

He played in the 2007 Under 20's World Cup and represented his national side at the Beijing Olympics.

The former Canterbury striker has already scored against Cliftonville in a pre-season friendly.

"I scored a nice goal against them so that gives me a lot of confidence. We had a lot of possession against them, I think we've got a good chance," he said.

TNS manager Mike Davies' one injury concern for the tie is defender Steve Evans who has a hamstring problem.

The Welsh Premier side beat Bohemians from Ireland in the Champions League last year before losing to Belgium champions Anderlecht.

Listen to full match commentary of The New Saints against Cliftonville in the first qualifying round of the Europa League, online at bbc.co.uk/shropshire from 1850 GMT on Thursday, June 30.

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