You might not expect there to be a link between Notts County and Tuesday’s opponents Rayo Vallecano but you only have to look as far as a legend of the Lane.
Former midfielder Mark Draper, who was part of Neil Warnock’s double promotion winning side that climbed from the third tier to the top flight, spent six months in Madrid under the guidance of former Tottenham Hotspur Manager Juande Ramos.
In an exclusive interview with the club’s official matchday magazine, Draper described his time at the Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas as a ‘fantastic experience’, despite troubles with the language barrier.
He told #themag: “Sometimes it was a struggle understanding instructions, I think there was only two or three in the changing room that could speak English!
“It came about quite quickly really, we had played a few Spanish teams in European competition and I went out there and I really enjoyed it.
“I didn’t play as much as I would have liked, but it was a fantastic experience.
“The culture, the lifestyle and the football, it was a great time.”
The former England Under-21 international is expecting a tough test for the Magpies in the friendly at Meadow Lane.
“They had another strong season last year and they will keep the ball well like all Spanish sides and Notts will have to be patient and try to hit them on the break. It will be a tough test.”
To find out what Draper is up to now and to read the full interview, make sure you pick up the pre-season edition of #themag for just £3.
Notts face Rayo Vallecano at Meadow Lane on Tuesday 23 July (7.30pm kick-off). For full ticket information, click here.