GEORGE HORAN reckons Connah's Quay Nomads are no longer one of European football's 'surprise packages'.

But the skipper is confident that Andy Morrison and his coaching staff will have a game-plan to trouble FK Sarajevo in the Champions League first qualifying round.

Nomads were paired with the Bosnian champions on Sunday with the one-legged tie set to take place on Tuesday, August 18 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Beating Scottish Premiership outfit Kilmarnock in last season's Europa League helped Nomads make headlines, and Horan feels that may help focus Sarajevo minds.

"Last year we put ourselves on the map a little bit with our cup wins, so we aren’t a surprise package like we used to be," Horan told Sgorio. "But hopefully they won’t know too much about us.

"The way we prepare, our detail and the way we go into games will hopefully stand us in good stead.

"They are going to be a good team, but we will be prepared and we will have a game-plan to go at."

On the challenge facing Nomads, Horan has been doing his research since the draw was made, continuing: "I’ve had a quick look after the draw and they are full of internationals.

"It will tough, very similar to what we faced last year, they will be good quality."

Cup football has suited Nomads in recent years, Morrison's men lifting the Welsh Cup in 2018 and last season's League Cup as well as reaching the Scottish Challenge Cup final in the 2018/19 campaign.

With the format changed from two legs to one due to the coronavirus crisis, will that work in Nomads favour?

Former Chester skipper Horan said: "I think so with us and they way we’ve played in cup competitions over the last three or four years – we’ve not had a bad record, so it might suit us."

A major plus for Nomads is the fact that the tie is taking place in the Welsh capital with heading to Bosnia at short notice a logistical nightmare.

"Relief for the club and for us as players," said Horan of a home tie. "Getting to places… it’s great to be playing at home and not having to go away travelling, financially and logistically."

After four successive Europa League campaigns, Nomads' Cymru Premier title success means that they are now in Europe's biggest club competition.

For Horan, who turned 38 earlier this year, it's another landmark to celebrate in the twilight of his career.

"It’s been a steady rise over the last six years, but at the stage I’m at in my career it’s been great not just tailing off and finishing," said Horan, who returned to the Deeside Stadium after leaving Chester in 2014.

"It’s been great to be challenging and playing in big games, so it’s been good for me personally."

Horan and Nomads, who were crowned champions on an unweighted points-per-game method due to COVID-19, have still not been able to get their hands on the trophy.

The commanding central defender added: "After how the season finished and how long ago it was, it’s going to be weird how to celebrate and how to lift the trophy."