The course for Wigan Athletic’s maiden voyage into European football has been set today, with Owen Coyle side being drawn against Rubin Kazan, NK Maribor and SV Zulte Waregem in Group D of 2013/14 UEFA Europa League.
Whilst matchday dates have been confirmed, discussions are now taking place to confirm who Latics will play and when, with Thursday 19 September marking the historic date we will play in our first competitive European match.
Rubin Kazan qualified for the group stage after three previous rounds; 4-2 aggregate win in the second qualifying round against Jagodina (Serbia); 4-1 aggregate win in the third qualifying round against Randers (Denmark) and a 5-0 aggregate play-off victory over Molde (Norway).
Rubin finished sixth in the Russian Premier League last season.
Slovenian First League winners NK Maribor enter the group stage following elimination from the Champions League with a 4-1 aggregate defeat against Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic).
Pot four side Zulte Waregem were also initially involved in the Champions League at the third qualifying round but were eliminated 5-0 on aggregate by Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.
The Belgian Pro League runners-up then entered the Europa League play-off round, beating APOEL (Cyprus) 3-2 on aggregate.
Discussions are now taking place between club delegates in Monaco following the draw to discuss fixture times and information.
Coach travel packages will be available to Zulte Waregem and prices will be available later today, these packages will not be available for the away games against Rubin Kazan and NK Maribor with further information on these trips available later today.
Following the draw in Monaco, Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson said:
" It was a tremendous honour to represent Wigan Athletic at the Europa League draw in Monaco today.
"It is a great draw with trips to Russia, Slovenia and Belgium which will be a brilliant experience for our supporters and a chance for the club to play against teams with different styles and players.
"They are all top teams in their countries.
"For Wigan Athletic today was an historic day and as FA Cup holders we are proud to represent England in Europe. Northern Premier league to the Europa League... the journey continues."
FULL FIXTURE LIST
Matchday One - 19 September v SV Zulte Waregem (A)
Matchday Two - 3 October v NK Maribor (H)
Matchday Three - 24 October v Rubin Kazan (H)
Matchday Four - 7 November v Rubin Kazan (A)
Matchday Five - 28 November v SV Zulte Waregem (H)
Matchday Six - 12 December v NK Maribor (A)