This piece is from yesterday's Buddies Briefing newsletter, which is emailed out at 6pm every Thursday. To receive our full, free St Mirren newsletter straight to your email inbox, click here.

That infuriating spinning circle takes over the Skyscanner website as I frantically research flights to Iceland and Albania. Oh, and Montenegro?

It's something few St Mirren fans have been blessed to experience in recent history with European football in the calendar next month.

It doesn't come without its complications though. First, we still do not even know our opposition in the Conference League qualifying round.

For Stephen Robinson's side, it won't be until July 18 that they will have complete confirmation of their opponents; either Valur (ICE) or KF Vllaznia (ALB).

It's exciting but excruciating. It's a thrilling prospect but equally a total logistical nightmare.

Like so many supporters, I traded in my day job to play travel agent on Wednesday evening with less than straightforward journeys discovered regardless of the eventual opposition next month.

READ MORE: St Mirren discover Conference League qualifying opposition

As I told one colleague, it's a simple matter of no direct flights, two airport pit stops, a multiple-hour journey after landing and then navigating an unknown city.

Alright, since then the potential for a journey to Albania's fifth-most populous city Shkoder has proven less complicated with a few airport switches.

The potential to fly into Montenegro and then cross into Albania is an option as is the straight bus service from Tirana - that said, arranging it on a week's notice with accommodation could be a challenge.

Then there's the possibility of a jaunt to Iceland, the land of the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Northern Lights - and more importantly to St Mirren supporters - overpriced pints, planes and places to stay.

You'd be forgiven for wondering whether this whole European football lark quickly lost its appeal given the hassle caused - but that couldn't be less of the case.

Yes, there are obvious difficulties from travel to tickets - not least the potential for a tiny away allocation in Iceland. But, and it's a big one, this is all part of a genuinely historic moment for so many supporters.

For so long, we've watched supporters of rival clubs head out on a European adventure - this summer we are the envy of others.

READ MORE: St Mirren legend Billy Abercromby dies aged 65

This will be a must-see occasion for supporters able to travel and a memory that will last a lifetime. The logistical complications are all a part of the magic - even if it doesn't feel like it at times.

Throw into the mix the fact that there is genuine potential for progression into the third round and this summer could be unforgettable.

Whatever happens, and wherever St Mirren end up next month, you won't forget the journey, that's for sure.


I had suspicions Stephen McGinn would join St Mirren in some capacity after announcing his retirement from playing.

I was delighted to see the club legend formally appointed as an under-18 coach on Thursday after a stellar career on the pitch.

McGinn has been involved in youth coaching at the club for the past seven months but will now put all his efforts into an off-the-pitch role.

It is a perfect appointment for McGinn and St Mirren. It's comfortable, it is perhaps unsurprising but it makes perfect sense.

He was a player who stood up when the club needed him, was a mentor to many and an even better role model to those unfortunate enough to only watch him from a distance.

In McGinn, St Mirren's youth prospects have a clear pathway to success as a footballer - there are few you'd rather learn from than a bonafide club legend.