The SPFL has today confirmed the SPFL Trust Trophy format and dates for the forthcoming season, with two clubs from both Wales and Northern Ireland again set to take part.
The New Saints and Bala Town from the JD Cymru Premier League, and Cliftonville and Coleraine from the Sports Direct Premiership will participate in this year’s tournament.
The competition format for 2023/24 will be the same as was used for the 2022/23 SPFL Trust Trophy, which was won by Hamilton Academical in March.
The 30 cinch Championship, cinch League 1 and cinch League 2 clubs will be joined by the four cross-border clubs, plus four representatives each from the Highland League and Lowland Leagues, and eleven cinch Premiership B Teams, including our own B side.
The Highland League clubs are Brechin City, Buckie Thistle, Brora Rangers and Formartine United, whilst the Lowland League clubs will be Albion Rovers, University of Stirling, Tranent FC and East Kilbride.
The draw for the first round and second rounds of this season’s SPFL Trust Trophy will take place at Hampden Park on Tuesday July 4 at 1.00pm.
The first round will be played in the midweek of August 1/2, with the second round a fortnight later. The third round is scheduled for the weekend of September 9/10, when the cinch Championship clubs and cross-border clubs will join the competition.
Round four will take place on the weekend of October 14/15, followed by the quarter-finals on the weekend of November 18/19 and the semi-finals on the weekend of February 3/4. The final is scheduled for the weekend of March 23/24.
Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “I am pleased to confirm the format for the forthcoming season, which will again include two clubs from both Wales and Northern Ireland joining the B Teams, 30 SPFL clubs, and representatives from the Highland and Lowland Leagues. The final in March was a great occasion and we are very much looking forward to the 2023/24 tournament getting under way at the beginning of August.
“I would like to thank the SPFL Trust and our broadcast partners BBC ALBA for their continued support. Travel expense payments for any club travelling between Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have been increased too and, for the first time, each club featured in a live TV game will also receive a facility fee.”
Nicky Reid, SPFL Trust CEO, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the SPFL Trust Trophy for another season, thanks to the continued and generous support of James Anderson, and can’t wait to see the action unfold as the first and second-round draws fast approach.
“The competition has been a brilliant vehicle to highlight the terrific and important community work done by the 42 community trusts and their associated clubs in our network and we hope to use the forthcoming campaign to continue to shine a spotlight on them.
“Football has a powerful role to play in communities across Scotland; we hope the trophy continues to be an impactful way to grow this.”
SPFL TRUST TROPHY FORMAT FOR 2023/24
Round 1 (22 clubs – 11 ties) – Midweek of August 1/2
Seeded and regionalised (B teams kept apart)
- 11 current cinch Premiership B teams
- Top four Highland League clubs from 2022/23
- Top four Lowland League clubs from 2022/23
- Clubs 8th-10th in cinch League 2 in 2022/23