Shamrock Rovers would have preferred anyone else in the Europa League draw, according to their former player Paul Corry.

The Hoops drew Italian giants AC Milan, who will visit Tallaght Stadium for the second-round qualifier on 17 September.

In any previous season, a mixture of gate receipts and TV rights deals might have seen Rovers do well financially from a draw against such a European heavyweight.

But the current situation with the coronavirus, whereby games are played behind closed doors, means that the usual payday won't come to pass.

Speaking on RTÉ 2 FM's Game On, Corry says that it would have been better to pull a side out of the hat that they could have beaten.

"I think if you ask any of the playing staff, be that the coaching staff or the players, they really would have fancied themselves against Féhervár," he suggested.

"They played Bohs in the last round. Or Zalgris from Lithuania. I think they would have had a real shot of going through if they had one of those teams over a single leg.

"We all know the sums of money that are involved in European games, and going through different rounds.

"There's probably a bit of regret that they didn't get one of those two. But I guess for the average punter, and the fans of the league of Ireland, and people associated with the game, AC Milan is probably the team you would have wanted to see.

"It brings in an audience (online). It brings, I guess, a profile to the players of Shamrock Rovers.

"It's a bit of a glamour tie."

The seven-time European Cup winners will arrive in west Dublin for what will be their first competitive game of the new campaign, with the new Serie A season set to kick-off the weekend afterwards.

For Corry, this might give Stephen Bradley's players some hope, but it comes with a large health warning attached.

"That's the one thing he'll be telling his players when the fixture comes around," he continued.

"You'd be almost hoping to catch them on the hop because they won't have played a competitive game for a long period of time.

"They've three pre-season games before they play Rovers.

"If you flip that around, they played 12 games after the break with Covid, and they've won 9 and drew 3. And they beat Juventus along the way.

"I know we speak of AC Milan not necessarily being the force that they were in the early 2000s.

"But they certainly seem as if they've turned a bit of a corner, and they seem to be strengthening quite well."