Europa League: Borussia Dortmund prepare for Liverpool tie at non-league Marine

Borussia Dortmund at Marine Travel Arena
Borussia Dortmund trained at Anfield the day before their session at Marine

When you think of the pre-match preparations of Europe's elite football clubs, you imagine world-class facilities, not those of a seventh tier non-league club.

But that was the choice of Borussia Dortmund, who used the ground of Northern Premier League Premier Division side Marine to fine-tune their skills before Thursday's Europa League match against Liverpool.

The German side trained at the Marine Travel Arena in Crosby, Merseyside, on Thursday morning before the 20:05 BST kick-off at Anfield.

"I was approached by their agents in Manchester funnily enough on the morning of 1 April and I actually thought it was an April Fool," chairman Paul Leary told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"We were assured it was a serious enquiry and we were delighted to assist them."

Paul Leary
Marine chairman Paul Leary got the chance to go on Borussia Dortmund team coach

Marine, who are 18th in their league, seven points above the relegation places, are most famous for having the longest-serving manager in football in Roly Howard, who left in 2005 after 32 years.

"We had to keep it absolutely confidential and I only told the remaining directors on Tuesday morning," added Leary.

"Had it got out in the public domain then it would've been a difficult situation to manage.

"They've donated two Dortmund shirts and all of their players have signed the shirts which will be framed and hung in our new boardroom."

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