Celtic have been told they will effectively take on the Gibraltar national team if they come up against Lincoln Red Imps in the Champions League.
New Hoops manager Brendan Rogers will face either Lincoln or Estonian side Flora Tallinn in his first competitive game in the second qualifying round of the competition.
Scotsman Davie Wilson, who recently took over as head coach of Lions Gibraltar, has given the lowdown on what Celtic could encounter after working with the majority of the Lincoln squad during his time as Gibraltar assistant and interim manager.
Lincoln can call upon the likes of Lee Casciaro, who scored Gibraltar’s first ever competitive goal in the 6-1 Euro qualifying defeat to Scotland at Hampden last March, and national team captain Roy Chipolina.
Gibraltar finished bottom of Group D with no points but the international minnows put up a good fight in 4-0 losses to both world champions Germany and Ireland during the qualifying campaign.
Wilson insists Lincoln will not be daunted by the prospect of taking on the Scottish champions.
He said: “They’re a talented bunch of players and about nine or ten of them were involved during the Euro qualifiers, and played in those ten games.
“It’s very similar side to the national team and these lads played at Hampden, they went to Poland and they faced Germany.
“They have Lee Casciaro who scored the goal for Gibraltar against Scotland in Glasgow, so they have experience of playing at that kind of level.
“Lincoln have obviously got to get through the first game to begin with and the downside of that for them is that our league has just finished.
“They’re going to be going straight into that with a mini-pre-season and because nine or ten of the boys were involved with the national team, they’ll probably be pretty tired.
“But if they get past this first tie then anything is possible.”
Wilson, who is based in the British Overseas Territory as a Royal Navy physical training officer, has outlined the vast financial gulf facing Lincoln, who have won the last 14 domestic league titles, if they set up a tie against Celtic.
He added: “Lincoln and Europa are the two big clubs in Gibraltar, a bit like Celtic and Rangers in Scotland – they’re the teams that are finishing first and second every year.
“If I was to guess what Lincoln’s player budget was for the season, I would probably say it would be around double what I’ve got to work with and it would be around £200,000 – maybe the salary of one Celtic player.
“No money even gets spent on transfers over here, it’s a bit like junior football in that regard. Maybe £5,000 changes hands now and then.”