SHEFFIELD UNITED: Ex-Blades duo are eyeing up Europe dates

Excited: Stuart McCall
Excited: Stuart McCall

will there be some Sheffield United interest going the way of the UEFA Champions League when next season’s competition gets underway next month?

Former Blades favourite Stuart McCall has enjoyed an excellent season in charge at Motherwell and says he’s excited at the prospect of being in Europe’s top club competition.

He won’t be the only Motherwell man with a past United connection either.

Former Blades youngster Nicky Law has been a regular in the side which clinched third place in the Scottish Premier League last season and so was able to take advantage of Rangers’ financial meltdown and their subsequent removal from European competition.

McCall, player and later assistant manager at the Lane, had a spell in charge at Bradford City before leaving and taking over at Motherwell in December 2010.

Law, who played under McCall at Bradford City, finds himself moving from League Two with Rotherham United just over a year ago to the prospect of Champions League football.

“It’s fantastic for players and the supporters to be in the Champions League,” said McCall.

“It was a great achievement to finish third and to get ahead of clubs like Hearts and Dundee United and getting into the qualifiers has to be regarded as a huge bonus.

“We’ll all be excited when the draw for our qualifying round is made but it will be a tough one.”

McCall knows they will face one of four teams - Dynamo Kiev, FC Copenhagen, Panathinaikos or Fenerbache.

“We will be huge underdogs,” added McCall. “What I would like is to be at home first.”

McCall acknowledges they would have to get through this round to have any significant impact financially but says it’s great for the players to be playing in it.

What they won’t get at the home game is the traditional Champions League anthem - “they don’t play that in the qualifying round so we’ll have to sort out our own music,” he chuckled.

Law - son of former Chesterfield and Rotherham defender and now Alfreton Town boss Nicky - came through the ranks at Bramall Lane but made only a handful of first team appearances.

He played 43 times in all for Motherwell last season and scored seven times.