WALES and Russia might have been opponents on the football pitch this week, battling it out to qualify for the finals of Euro 2004, but delegates from a little-known Russian team jetted into Wrexham this week to forge an alliance with the Dragons.
The director of football for Russian third division side Dinamo Izhevsk, Alexander Sunstov, and his son, Denis, met Denis Smith's newly-promoted side at their Colliers Park training ground on Tuesday morning to discuss setting up a 'feeder' system between the two clubs to help develop exciting young talent.
Izhevsk is the capital city of the Republic of Udmertia in the Russian Federation of States and is the home region of the composer Tchaikovsky and the Kalashnikov rifle.
Following a request by Dinamo through the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to find a suitable British club with which to explore a partnership, press officer Nigel Davies, a lifelong Wrexham fan, had no hesitation in suggesting his beloved Dragons.
Two phone calls and a meeting later, both Smith and Wrexham FC's chief executive, David Rhodes, were happy to oblige.
Mr Davies said: 'We have been working closely with this particular region of Russia following a visit to the festival by a representative some 18 months ago.
'We have since seen our chief executive travel to Russia on a number of occasions, with other educational and cultural links under development.'