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Hoops manager admits that the Tallaght club will find it difficult in Europe as a result of not being a seeded team but stresses importance of European competition

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Kenny has conceded that the fact his team will not be a seeded for the Champions League qualifying stages makes qualification a much more difficult task.

Kenny's side face a potential draw with clubs such as BATE Borisov, FC Basel, who competed in the Champions League group stages last season, as well as Partizan and Giovanni Trapattoni's former club, Red Bull Salzburg.

"Not being seeded is a major disadvantage," Kenny told the Irish Independent.

Last season, under the stewardship of current Northern Ireland manager, Michael O'Neill, the Hoops became the first Irish side to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League when they defeated Partizan Belgrade in the play-off round.

They were subsequently drawn in Group A alongside Tottenham Hotspur, Russian club Rubin Kazan and Greek outfit PAOK before being eliminated from the competition.

Despite not being seeded, Stephen Kenny is keen for his club to be playing in European competition and added that they will fear no one.

"We will see who we draw and we want to be playing in Europe," said Kenny. "They are the big games, the reason that players want to come to Shamrock Rovers."

He added: "I have managed 16 games in Europe. They are the pinnacle and you want more, you don't want just one round.

"We have our work cut out, but just because a team is ranked above us doesn't mean we fear them."

As well as Shamrock Rovers, three other Irish clubs will compete in European competition this season, with Sligo Rovers, Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic entering the Europa League draw.

Bohemians, who are in the competition at the expense of Derry City, will enter the competition at round one and the Gypsies' boss Aaron Callaghan is hoping to be drawn with a club that is easily accessible.

"You want somewhere you can get to fairly easily, number one," said Callaghan.

He added: "I think having been a coach at St Pat's last year, we ended up in Iceland, Kazakhstan and Ukraine and it certainly hit the club financially."

Meanwhile, St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley is confident that there will not be a repeat of the dispute which saw the Saints' players threaten a strike over bonuses before a Europa League tie against Karpaty Lviv.

"We're running along smoothly and we've got everything organised. I don't see an issue or a problem there," said Buckley.

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