Robbo relishing challenge of UEFA opponents

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WHITLEY Bay FC captain Paul Robinson is looking forward to the prospect of playing in front of a big crown this weekend as they welcome FC Metalist Kharkiv to Hillheads.

The friendly tie has been arranged ahead of the Ukraine’s UEFA Europa League clash with Newcastle United on Thursday February 14, and is a chance for the visitors to acclimatise to the north east conditions.

Robinson, who had confirmation of the tie on Wednesday, said: “We’ve all had a bit banter about it and the lads in the squad are really looking to it.

“It’s not every week we got to mix it with Brazilians and Argentineans so it will definitely be an experience for us and also for the club.

“It’s a great bit of publicity for us and we are hoping we can make it a competitive game.”

Hillheads is no stranger to large crowds, given the recent success in the FA Carlsberg Vase, and Robinson is hoping the Sunday night tie will attract spectators to the home of the Seahorses.

He said: “We love the big crowds, and have been lucky enough to play in a good amount of big games in the Vase in recent years, so hopefully we can attract a similar sort of crowd on Sunday.

“There’s no football on at 7pm on Sundays and Homeland is not on the TV anymore, so I would encourage people to try and get down and show their support.”

Kick off at Hillheads on Sunday night is 7pm. Entry is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

Club officials of Metalist have requested that spectators do not wear black and white shirts or scarves, and entry to Hillheads may be denied if that is not adhered too.

Chairman Paul McIlduff said: “It’s great that we have been able to organise this game, and to be mentioned in the same sentence as the club.

“It’s a big game for Whitley Bay and we will be putting a full team out.”