Who are the Connah’s Quay Nomads’ Irn Bru Cup opponents Falkirk?’
Connah’s Quay Nomads get their Irn Bru Cup campaign underway this weekend, they travel to Stirlingshire to face Falkirk, who are currently bottom of the Scottish Championship.
Andy Morrison’s men have made a positive start to the season, winning three of their opening four Welsh Premier League games.
The Nomads were knocked out by Dumbarton in the second round of last year’s competition, while The Bairns were defeated by eventual winners Inverness in the quarter-finals.
So, what can the Deeside team expect from tomorrow’s opponents?
The Scottish side have enjoyed playing in this competition since its inception in 1990: they are the most successful team having won it four times, most recently in the 2011/12 season.
Their first success came in 93/94 when they beat St. Mirren 3-0 at Fir Park.
They didn’t have to wait long to win it again, claiming the trophy in 97/98, beating Queen of the South 1-0 in the final.
A 2-1 win against Ross County in 04/05 brought them their third trophy, before defeating Hamilton Academical in 11/12 to claim their fourth, and latest title.
What’s their current form like?
In all honesty, not great. The Bairns have failed to win in the league so far this season, losing all four of their games in the Scottish Championship.
They finished eighth last season, one place above the relegation zone, however they were 17 points of Dumbarton in ninth.
The Stirlingshire side finished second in Group B of the Scottish League Cup, advancing to the ‘Best runners-up’ group, where they finished last of the eight teams, winning two and losing two of their four matches.
They defeated Rangers U21’s 2-1 to advance to the second round, with the winner of tomorrow’s game going through to round three.
Who’s in charge?
After a difficult start to the season, Falkirk parted company with Paul Hartley, appointing his successor, Ray McKinnon last Friday.
This will be McKinnon’s first game in charge of the the Bairns, after leaving Greenock Morton to take up the managerial post at Falkirk Stadium.
The 48-year-old played for teams including Dundee United, Nottingham Forest, Aberdeen and Luton Town during his career.
His first full managerial role came in 2006 when he took over at Lochee United. He has gone on to manage Brechin City, Raith Rovers, Dundee United and the aforementioned Greenock Morton.
McKinnon is expecting a stern challenge from the Nomads tomorrow: “It’ll be a very tough game, make no bones about it, but I’m looking forward to the game on Saturday; I hope the players are too, I hope the fans are as well.
We want to get them (the players) out there, we want to get going, we want to start building something here at the club.
Whether it’s Connah’s Quay on Saturday or whoever it’s going to be, we’ve need to start somewhere.
We want to get out on Saturday and get the players playing.”
The majority of the playing squad is made up of Scots, however seven other countries are represented in Italy, England, Northern Ireland, Lithuania, Cyprus, Canada and The Republic of Ireland.
Winger Deimantas Petravičius has been capped seven times by Lithuania, while Dimitris Froxylias has appeared twice for Cyprus since making his debut earlier this year.
Canadian striker Marcus Haber has played 27 times for Canada since his first game in 2010, he is the most experienced player in the squad, when it comes to international football.
The club was founded in 1876, making them the eighth-oldest Scottish football club.
They were runners up in the Scottish League Division One in 1907/08 and 1909/10, as well as winning the Scottish League First Division on seven occasions.
The Bairns have claimed the Scottish Cup on two occasions, firstly in 1912/13 and then in 1956/57.
Their sole appearance in a Scottish League Cup final came in the 1947/48 season, when they lost 4-1 to East Fife.