Aberdeen boss Derek McInness welcomes Luxembourg trip

Aberdeen lost 3-2 on aggregate to Kairat Almaty in last season's third qualifying round
Aberdeen lost 3-2 on aggregate to Kairat Almaty in last season's third qualifying round

Manager Derek McInnes is happy to have avoided an arduous journey for Aberdeen's Europa League opener.

The Dons will face CS Fola Esch of Luxembourg in the first qualifying round later this month.

Awaiting the winners of that tie are Latvian side FK Ventspils or Vikingur from the Faroe Islands.

"Once we watch them, we'll be able to say whether it's a good draw or not but we're pleased from a travelling aspect," McInnes told BBC Scotland.

"As it stands, it could have been a lot more difficult."

Aberdeen were in Macedonia, Croatia and Kazakhstan in last season's qualifiers, losing at the third round stage to Kairat.

McInnes's side are at home for the first leg on 30 June against a side that are yet to win in 10 previous European ties.

"I don't really see home or away first as an issue," said McInnes. "Hopefully, we can go and prove we are a better side at home and away."

The Aberdeen boss is also confident he will be well informed on CS Fola Esch by the time the teams meet.

"They have a pre-season game tomorrow and another on Saturday, so we'll get out to watch them twice," he revealed.

"It's important to get an idea of their team shape and individual players.

"They got a good result with 1-1 away to Dinamo Zagreb with 10 men [in last season's Champions League qualifiers], so that shows they are capable.

"We had a closed doors game today and will have a couple more friendlies before the first leg."

Storey not available for round one

Niall McGinn scored in Northern Ireland's 2-0 win over Ukraine
McGinn scored in Northern Ireland's 2-0 win over Ukraine

Aberdeen are likely to be without Niall McGinn, who is on Euro 2016 duty with Northern Ireland and McInnes confirmed that striker Miles Storey will not complete his move from Swindon until 1 July.

"We still have the potential to maybe sign one more before the game," said the manager. "If not, I'm confident we can get the job done with the squad we have."

The Dons made a strong start to last year's league campaign, winning their first eight matches, but McInnes wants more from Europe than a few warm-up matches.

"We look at it as an opportunity to do well," he said.

"We've enjoyed the last couple of years. We've had some big results and brilliant nights.

"Financially, the club has benefitted and the players have gained good experience, while the supporters have had some good trips and good memories.

"We want to make every European campaign worthwhile."

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