“We're looking forward to it, whoever we're up against. We've a lot of respect for both sides, who've each been training and playing competitively for a bit longer than us,” said Hjulmand, who joined Mainz in May as Thomas Tuchel's successor.
Group stage the target
“We know a bit about Greek and Finnish football, but not much about these two sides. We'll be starting to take a very close look at them,” the former head coach of 2012 Danish champions FC Nordsjaelland added.
Asteras, fifth in the Greek league last season, have a slight advantage for the second round return leg on 24 July after earning a 1-1 draw away to Finnish cup holders RoPS. Mainz host the victors in the first leg on Thursday 31 July, their seventh-place finish in the Bundesliga last season having earned them a berth in the third qualifying round. A place in the play-off round awaits the winners, after which the group phase of the tournament commences.