Callum Davidson is thrilled that St Johnstone fans will get the chance to see a European powerhouse at McDiarmid Park next month.
And he is also delighted that he and his players have a bit of certainty surrounding the start of their European adventure.
Should Galatasaray be unable to produce a footballing shock to end all shocks and overturn a 5-1 deficit in their Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven, they ‘ll drop into the Europa League qualifiers to face Saints.
And now that a government exemption has been secured to find a way round Turkey’s red light coronavirus status, Davidson knows what he is planning for.
“We’re delighted,” said the Perth boss. “It is fantastic news being able to have the game at McDiarmid Park.
“Hopefully we can get supporters in the door which will be even better. That is why you play in Europe.
“The worry was where we were going to play and whether it was going to need to be two neutral venues.
“There would have been the logistics of getting players ready, away and then back for league games.
“Now that it is one away game and one home game, we can prepare and plan for it.
“If it is Galatasaray, they are right up there as one of the top teams in Europe.
“It’s a great place for St Johnstone to go and compete.
Big nights and big crowds
“I’m very fortunate to have been part of European nights at McDiarmid Park.
“I’m really looking forward to it and so are the players.
“They really should have been concentrating on the game but they all heard the news. They are all delighted.
“The players want to play in front of big crowds.
“The timings will be pretty short and there will be a lot of testing going on.
“Fingers crossed we are all OK and can get a full squad out there.”
Saints will have their Premiership opener against Ross County to play before they enter the Europa League.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) July 24, 2021
Pre-season was brought to a conclusion with a 0-0 draw against Fleetwood Town.
“I would have liked more 90 minutes in players,” said Davidson.
“But Liam Craig, Murray Davidson, Craig Bryson and Chris Kane hadn’t really trained.
“It was a really difficult game and Fleetwood matched us up. It was basically man for man all over the pitch.”
Stevie May missed out but should be available for the weekend. There is less certainty regarding Callum Booth and Charlie Gilmour, however.
“Stevie May tried to train on Friday but wasn’t quite right,” Davidson reported. “He will be OK for next week.
“We’ll see how Charlie and Callum are over the next few days.”