Evo-Stik League Tadcaster Albion have been congratulating former midfielder Jamie Hopcutt after he qualified for the group stages of the Europa League with Sweden’s Östersunds on Thursday night.
The 25-year-old ex-Brewer will find out whether he’s coming home to face Arsenal or Everton in Friday’s UEFA draw for the group stages of the competition in Monaco after helping Östersunds beat Greece’s PAOK 2-0 in the final qualifying round. Their reward is a berth in Pot 4 with the minnows among the 48 sides being drawn into 12 groups.
A key figure in a side that has risen from the fourth tier of Swedish football under the guidance of Englishman and ex-Bootham Crescent coach Graham Potter, former Minstermen youth team star Hopcutt, helped his side to a 3-1 aggregate win over Turkish giants Galatasaray in Istanbul in an earlier round after scoring in the first leg.
Hopcutt, who was at Whitby Town on loan before being released by the National League club and turning out for Ossett Town during the 2010-11 campaign, joined then Northern Counties East League Taddy for the following season before heading to Sweden in 2012 via League Football Education’s player placement programme.
Hailing the subsequent achievements of their former player since leaving the i2i Stadium on Twitter, @TadcasterAlbion proudly tweeted: “What an unbelievable achievement from former Brewer @hoppy07. Gone from the i2i to the @EuropaLeague Group Stage. A simply amazing journey”.
The Englishman is certainly rated in his adopted country. Halfway through the 2015 Superettan season newspaper Aftonbladet ranked him as the tenth best player in the league while Östersunds-Posten listed him as the fifth best Östersunds FK player of all time.