Veteran midfielder Rory Delap has admitted he has to pinch himself when he realises he is playing in Europe for Stoke City at the age of 35 this season.
Delap, famous for his long-throws which have helped the Potters forge a reputation for being a no-nonsense side in the Premier League, has been with the club since 2006 and has seen their stock rise considerably during that time. Fans of football betting will know how hard they are to beat.
Lat year’s appearance in the FA Cup final is the highlight so far but they could eclipse that with a successful run in this season’s Europa League.
So far things have gone well for Tony Pulis’ side and they sit top of Group E after two games ahead of a home clash with Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday. Those looking at the Europa League betting will be expecting a close match.
It’s Stoke’s first major European campaign in 37 years and Delap is revelling in being involved.
He said. “If I was being brutally honest, I wouldn’t have thought five years ago that I’d still be playing at this level.
“When I came to the club, the gaffer said this is where he wanted to be and asked who wanted to be with him, and he and the chairman have kept their promises.
“You’ve just got to enjoy these games because particularly for myself, you are not going to get too many occasions like this. I’m just pleased to still be in and around it at a club like this, and I feel like I’m still holding my own.”
The Potters have already beaten Besiktas and drawn with Dynamo Kiev in their group so far so a win against Maccabi would go a long way to cement a place in the next stage of the competition.