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Nev: We're going into the unknown.

Byline: DAVE JONES

BANGOR City manager Neville Powell admits his team faces a journey into the unknown when they take on Moldova's FC Zimbru Chisinau in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

Yesterday's draw in Nyon, Switzerland, paired the Welsh Premier League runners-up with the eight-time Divizia Nationala champions on July 5 and 12.

Bangor will be having their first taste of Moldovan opposition when they enter their fifth successive campaign in European football.

WHO "It will be a journey into the unknown and we know what a difficult job it's going to be, but we'll give it everything as we always do," said City chief Powell.

. FC Zimbru formed in 1947.

"It's often hard to gauge what sort of standard these eastern European teams are, but they've got a good record in their own country and are experienced in European competition." . They have Nationala eight 1992-93, 1993-1995-96, 1997-1999-00.

FC Zimbru was formed in 1947 but its fortunes changed for the better after the Republic of Moldova established independence in 1991 following the fall of the USSR. The club won the Divizia Nationala five times between 1992-96 and on three more occasions from 1998-2000. Zimbru also boast five Moldovan Cup wins. . They have Moldovan Cup 1997, 1998,. Zimbru is a for a form of but the club functioned as Dynamo, Moldova, In recent years Zimbru have conceded top dog status to the new kings of Moldovan football Sheriff Tiraspol, who regained the title in 2011/12 to reach the Uefa Champions League.

Zimbru have a very respectable record in Europe since 1992, having played 50 matches, winning 13, drawing 14 and losing 23.

Among their best results are 0-0 draws against Tottenham in the UEFA Cup and PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, plus a 3-2 aggregate victory over Dinamo Tbilisi in the CL in 1999/00.

Leading players for Zimbru include captain Oleg Shishkin, who has won 38 caps for Moldova, and Oleg Molla, the joint second top scorer in the Divizia Nationala last term.

City's latest Europa League opponents play at the 10,500 capacity Zimbru Stadium which is shared with FC Dacia Chisinau, who won their first Divizia Nationala title in 2010/11.

Powell added: "If you'd told us at the start of last season we'd have been in the first qualifying round draw for the Europa League on June 25 we'd have bitten your hand off.

ARE ZIMBRU? Chisinau were "Qualifying for Europe for a fifth season in a row means an awful lot to Bangor City. Our fans have been treated to some great European occasions over the years and hopefully we can deliver any more.

won the Divizia times in: 1992, 94, 1994-95, 98, 1998-99, "The rewards in qualifying for Europe are rich and if you can get through a round or two, the rewards get even richer, so naturally we are keen to do well."

lifted the five times in: 2004, 2007. Romanian word European bison, previously names such Burevestnik, and Nistru.

Bangor will play the home leg first at Nantporth on Thursday, July 5, and the return will be in Chisinau on July 12.

City will be embarking on their 15th tie and 32nd match in Europe since 1962 of which they have won three, drawn three and lost 25.

Meanwhile, Bangor have added midfielder Jamie Crowther to their Europa League squad.

Crowther, 20, has played in the Welsh Premier for Cefn Druids, whom he joined from Cymru Alliance Mold Alexandra in January 2010 after previous experience with Holywell Town.

He made 16 WPL appearances for Druids and spent season 2011/12 on the books of Stalybridge Celtic and also appeared for Wrexham Reserves.

A Wales under-18 cap who played in the Centenary Shield, Crowther joined Bangor City last week.

CAPTION(S):

Nev Powell says Bangor will be travelling into the unknown against Zimbru Chisinau and (inset) where they will travel to
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EXMO
Date:Jun 26, 2012
Words:652
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