Swansea City Ladies in Europe today
Wednesday, 4th Nov 2020 11:34
It’s time for Swansea City Ladies to represent Wales today in Cyprus as they go head to head in a one off game against Apollon. Team news to follow.
Swansea City begin their Women's Champions League campaign against Cypriot champions Apollon on Wednesday. The one-legged, first qualifying round tie will be played at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca (13:00 GMT). Swansea are in the Champions League after winning the Welsh Women's Premier League in the curtailed 2019-20 campaign. Ian Owen's team were cleared to travel to Cyprus by the Welsh Government despite the Wales firebreak lockdown.
Swansea City Ladies youngster Nieve Jenkins cannot wait to get her first taste of Champions League action, with her and her team-mates chomping at the bit for Wednesday’s showdown with Apollon Ladies.
The 18-year-old has been involved with the club from a very young age, and is one of several graduates from the youth programme to be playing in the first team.
Jenkins will now make her bow in European competition, as the Swans face the tough assignment of the trip to take on Cypriot champions Apollon on Wednesday afternoon (2pm) in the first qualifying round of the tournament.
Jenkins is under no illusion as to how much of a jump it will be to compete at the pinnacle of women’s club football, but cannot wait to test herself in the continent’s elite competition.
“It means a lot, playing in the Champions League will be a great experience and a massive learning curve for me,” said Jenkins.
"It’s a massive challenge competing at that top level, but I think the whole squad have worked really hard and we are ready for it.
“The excitement within the team is as high as it has ever been and, as we get closer, everybody looks that much more ready for the challenge.”
Champions League History
The Swans and the Limassol-based side do have history in the Champions League, as the teams faced each other in 2011. Apollon have been very successful in the qualifying stages since their first appearance in the competition in 2009, going on to reach the knock-out stages on seven occasions.
They made history for Cypriot women’s football in that debut campaign during the 2009-10 season, as they were the first team from the country to win a point in the qualification group stages of the Champions League.
Who's the Apollon boss?
Kim Björkegren. Apollon are managed by 38-year-old Swede Björkegren, who only took charge of the Cypriot champions in June 2020. Björkegren previously managed his hometown club of Linköping, winning the Damallsvenskan with them in 2017, and guided them to the quarter-finals of the Champions League where they were knocked out by Manchester City. He later departed Sweden for China in 2018 to take charge of Beijing BG Pheonix. Once his spell in Asia concluded in 2019 his next job took him to Cyprus.
Photo: Photo: Swansea City FC
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