Football: Barrilliant; FC Shamkir 0 Barry Town 1 (Barry Win 3-0 on Aggregate) Nicholas and His Heroes Make Europe History

The Mirror (London, England), July 19, 2001 | Go to article overview

Football: Barrilliant; FC Shamkir 0 Barry Town 1 (Barry Win 3-0 on Aggregate) Nicholas and His Heroes Make Europe History


Byline: BEN WADE

PETER NICHOLAS saluted his Barry Town heroes last night - and then let himself dream of a Champions League showdown with Manchester United or Barcelona.

His side created history with this stunning win over FC Shamkir in Azerbaijan.

The Dragons' victory earned them a money-spinning second preliminary round clash with Portuguese giants FC Porto next week and wrote the League of Wales champions into Welsh football legend.

Nicholas, the former Wales international and ex-Crystal Palace coach, said: "This is my greatest night as a football manager. It's a great honour for me and my players to be part of the first Welsh team to win a tie in the Champions League.

"When I went to Barry last season I never thought I'd be trying to plot the downfall of a club like FC Porto in the Champions League. They won the European Cup in 1987 and are one of the giants of European soccer.

"We will be going into the lions den next week, but now I guess I will find out just how

good my players really are."

Barry, 2-0 up from the first leg, won with a 57th minute goal by former Cardiff City defender Lee Phillips.

The Azerbaijan champions had to play with 10 men for most of the the game after striker Badri Kvaratskhelia was sent off after just eight minutes for kicking Barry keeper Timothy Clark.

Nicholas said: "I told them all not to think past the game against Shamkir, but now we have got something to savour and celebrate.

"Nobody can ever take this away from Barry and this group of players - we're in the record books.

"I've already had Porto watched in France and I've got a number of tapes to study when I get home.

"I only ever played in the Uefa Cup, so next week's game in Porto will be a great experience for the players and myself.

"After this, who knows. I'd love to see Barry playing a Manchester United or Barcelona - it's the dream of the club and our ultimate goal."

Barry's 3-0 aggregate triumph will earn them a bumper pay day in the next round.

They have already secured a TV deal with Portuguese television worth around pounds 200,000 and are hopeful of enticing BBC Wales to screen their second leg at Jenner Park, where capacity will be boosted to 6,500.

That money will be vital to keep the League of Wales' only full-time professional club afloat this season. …

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