Sep 28 2012 By Gordon Parks
PARTICK THISTLE enjoyed a taste of Champions League glamour last week after providing Portuguese cracks Benfica with a training base.
Now the Jags could be set to throw open the doors of Firhill when Spanish superstars Barcelona arrive in the city on European duty in November.
Benfica used the Maryhill ground to prepare for their game against Celtic last Wednesday and the success of the visit has whetted the appetite for more massive names taking to the pitch in the coming months.
Jags general manager Ian Maxwell reckons playing host to Benfica gave the First Division side the opportunity to showcase the best of their club.
Now he hopes to welcome arguably the world’s greatest team to their ground.
He said: “We were more than happy to accommodate Benfica and I’m sure they enjoyed their visit as the playing surface is ideal at the moment.
“It was great to have a club of their stature at the ground and hopefully it will be a sign of things to come. If we are asked to provide a training base in the future then we will try to accommodate the team involved.
“We know Barcelona are coming to Glasgow in November but it’s too early to say if we will have any involvement.”
Meanwhile, Partick boss Jackie McNamara has urged fans not to get carried away with their stunning start to the First Division campaign.
Six wins out of six have raised the expectations among the Firhill faithful but McNamara insists it’s far too early to talk about a title push.
He said: “We have been delighted with the start we’ve made but we must remember we are only six games into a very long season. The key to any successful campaign is to be consistent and so far we have achieved that.
“Saturday’s win over Cowdenbeath showed just how tight this league is and, even though we claimed the points, it was a bit nervy.
“This Saturday we visit Raith Rovers and it’s another difficult game. We know from experience just how difficult it is to come away from there with a win.
“The fans have been superb this season and their backing has played a major part in how well things have started. We want that to continue and it’s also vital we don’t get ahead of ourselves.
“But we have given ourselves a base for the months ahead and the big challenges in front of us.”
The BBC ALBA cameras will again be in place for Thistle’s Ramsdens Cup semi-final date with Cowdenbeath on Sunday, October 14.
The Jags will be aiming to reach the final of the competition for the first time and BBC ALBA will be there to broadcast the match live. Kick-off has now been moved to 4.05pm.