Preston North End right-back Scott Wiseman will swap the splendour of the Estadio Do Algarve for Walsall’s Bescot Stadium this week.
The 30,000-capacity ground in Faro, built for Euro 2004, is ‘home’ for the time-being to the Gibraltar national team.
It was there on Sunday night where Gib played their first ever competitive match after being accepted as UEFA’s 54th member.
Things did not quite go to plan from their point of view, although they did go to form as Poland thrashed them 7-0 in Group D of the Euro 2016 qualifiers – world champions Germany are in the same group.
Mind you, six of those goals came in the second half, after Gib had recovered from letting in an early goal to contain their visitors for the remainder of the first half.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski netted four of the visitors’ goals.
Wiseman and midfielder Liam Walker – who plays for Bnei Yehuda in Israel – were the only two players in Gib’s side who make their full-time living from football.
The others have a variety of jobs, including ex-Morecambe defender David Artell, who is now operations manager at Crewe Alexandra’s academy.
Artell plays part-time for Bala Town in the Welsh Premier League.
Gibraltar will continue to play their home games in Faro until a new stadium on the ‘Rock’ is completed.
The country’s only other ground boasts an artificial pitch which does not conform with UEFA standards.
The route to being accepted into the international fold has been a long and winding one for Gibraltar. It was 14 years ago that they began trying, with one of the main obstacles being Spain’s opposition to them.
Spain do not recognise Gib as a self-governing country and for hundreds of years have felt it should be their territory.
In the draw for the Euro qualifiers, the countries were actually drawn together in the same group.
But UEFA had previously announced that they would not be asked to play each other, and Gib were moved into another group.
In the October international break, Gibraltar travel to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
Wiseman completed the full 90 minutes on Sunday and will be back in Preston today to begin preparations for the weekend’s visit to Walsall.
He will be competing with Calum Woods to get the nod at right-back.
That was a battle which Wiseman won for the last league game against Sheffield United on August 30.
The versatile Woods played the second half of that clash at left-back after coming off the bench to replace Ben Davies.
In Wiseman’s absence against Shrewsbury in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Woods got the right-back shirt.
Another North End player returning from international duty today was Andy Little.
The front man was an unused substitute as Northern Ireland came from behind to beat Hungary 2-1 in Budapest.
Former Rangers man Little had been a late call-up to Michael O’Neill’s squad having been on stand-by.