Wednesday 29th June 2022
THE SPFL has today announced it will welcome back four cross-border clubs to the SPFL Trust Trophy for season 2022/23 as it confirmed the format for the competition.
The New Saints and Caernarfon Town, from the JD Cymru Premier in Wales, and Linfield and Cliftonville, from the Danske Bank Premiership in Northern Ireland, will take part in this year’s tournament.
Cross-border clubs first joined the revamped set-up in 2016/17, but their involvement was paused after season 2019/20 because of the pandemic.
Four Lowland League clubs – Cowdenbeath, East Kilbride, The Spartans and East Stirlingshire – will again join the SPFL Trust Trophy first round, alongside Fraserburgh, Buckie Thistle, Brechin City and Brora Rangers as the Highland League’s four representatives.
The draw for the first round and second round of this season’s SPFL Trust Trophy will take place at 1.00pm on Monday July 4 at Airdrieonians’ Excelsior Stadium. It will be streamed live on the SPFL YouTube channel.
The first round of the competition will be played in the midweek of August 9/10, and will involve 11 cinch Premiership B teams, the four teams from both the Highland League and Lowland League, and the bottom three clubs from last season’s cinch League 2.
The remaining seven cinch League 2 clubs join in round two in the midweek of August 23/24, alongside the bottom two cinch League 1 clubs from last season.
The 10 winners of that round’s matches are joined by the other eight cinch League 1 clubs, the 10 cinch Championship clubs, and four cross-border clubs in round three on the weekend of September 24/25.
Round four will take place on the weekend of December 10/11, followed by the quarter-finals on the weekend of January 7/8, and the semi-finals on the weekend of February 4/5 or midweek of February 7/8. The final takes place on a provisional date of March 25/26.
Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “I am pleased to confirm that we will be welcoming back four cross-border clubs from the start of this season’s competition.
“The involvement of cross-border teams helped reinvigorate the tournament when they were first introduced, and we believe the SPFL Trust Trophy will benefit from their return.
“This tournament has been a real success story over the years, and we look forward to the action kicking off again in August.”
Nicky Reid, SPFL Trust chief executive, said: “The SPFL Trust are delighted to be able to sponsor the tournament for a second season, which is only possible with the generous support of our donors.
“Following the success of last term’s competition in highlighting the community programmes we deliver across the country, we hope to build on that in the forthcoming
campaign to show that change really can be football powered.
“Alongside the matches taking place right up to the final, we hope this magnificent cross-border competition can continue to shine a light on the work being done by football clubs across the UK to serve their communities.”
There will be a reimbursement payment of £6,500 per match, for any club travelling between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
SPFL TRUST TROPHY FORMAT FOR 2022/23
Round 1 (22 clubs – 11 ties) – Midweek of August 9/10
Seeded and regionalised (B teams kept apart)
• 11 current cinch Premiership B teams
• Top four Highland League clubs from 2021/22
• Top four Lowland League clubs from 2021/22
• Clubs 8th-10th in cinch League 2 in 2021/22
Round 2 (20 clubs – 10 ties) – Midweek of August 23/24
Regionalised but not seeded
• 11 winners from Round 1
• Clubs 1st-7th in cinch League 2 in 2021/22
• Clubs 9th-10th in cinch League 1 in 2021/22
Round 3 (32 clubs – 16 ties) – Weekend of September 24/25
Not regionalised or seeded but cross-border clubs kept apart
• 10 winners from Round 2
• Clubs 1st-8th in cinch League 1 in 2021/22
• Clubs 2nd-10th in cinch Championship in 2021/22
• Club 12th in cinch Premiership in 2021/22
• Four cross-border clubs (two from JD Cymru Premier and two from Danske Bank Premiership)
Round 4 (16 clubs – 8 ties) – Weekend of December 10/11
All-in draw – no seeding
Quarter-finals – Weekend of January 7/8
Semi-finals – Weekend of February 4/5 or midweek of February 7/8 – subject to change
Final – Weekend of March 25/26 (provisional date)