South Challenge Cup draw date and format confirmed

The largest Senior cup draw of the season, the South Challenge Cup, takes place on Friday 4th June at 7pm, with regionalised 1st and 2nd round ties to be decided. The 161 entrants have been split into four ‘quarters’ and will contest the drawn matches before going ‘all in’. Pollok are in the North-West zone (this consists of clubs in North Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Argyll & Bute plus Rutherglen Glencairn).

The South-West Zone includes clubs from Dumfries & Galloway, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, (except Rutherglen Glencairn) plus Newmains United and Wishaw. South-East contains 41 clubs from West Lothian (except Harthill Royal and Linlithgow Rose) ,Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, Scottish Borders and Northumberland. North-East Zone covers clubs in Fife, Clackmannanshire, Perth & Kinross, Stirling, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire (except Newmains United and Wishaw) plus Harthill Royal and Linlithgow Rose.

Here’s a handy, colour-coded map c/o Kenny McLean of the East of Scotland League.

The West of Scotland Football League has expanded for the new season and all the new members are in a development division, with those not meeting the current entry requirements given time to upgrade their facilities. A number of these new clubs are in our section (Broomhill Sports Club; Campbeltown Pupils, Finnart, Glenvale, Harmony Row, St. Peters and Westerton United). The only new WoSFL sides not in our section are former East Juniors Harthill Royal and former youth side Kilsyth Athletic.

All of Harthill’s fellow former East Region Premiership South sides have joined the East of Scotland League, Sauchie Juniors Community excepted as they have folded. Bo’ness United Juniors have rebranded as Bo’ness Athletic (as an aside, the remaining Junior divisions – the East Premiership North and the North Region SJFA – are heading into the Highland pyramid at tier 6 and below. The EPN will become the Midland League. These changes will need ratifying at the SJFA AGM but have in general been publically spoken about by the Highland League following their own AGM. A third league will sit at tier 6, the North Caledonian League. Any licenced league winners will contest a playoff to play off against the Highland League‘s basement side. These changes bring all clubs playing adult semi-pro / pro football out with the Scottish Amateur FA and Scottish Welfare FA under one roof).

Broomhill SC have split off their youth and amateur set-up from Lowland League side BSC Glasgow and will play, as their amateurs did, at Springburn Park astro (alongside Finnart). St. Peters will groundshare with Renfrew initially, Glenvale have the use of Ferguslie Sports Centre, Harmony Row have their own facility near Braehead called Sir Alex Ferguson Park. Campbeltown Pupils have an enclosed former Junior facility named Kintyre Park. Meanwhile, Glasgow United are not a new club – this is the rebranding of Shettleston.

Back to the cup… in the First Round for each Zone (except the South-East) there will be 8 ties and 24 clubs will receive ‘byes’ and in the South East there will be 9 ties with 23 clubs receiving ‘byes’.

The Second Round will consist of 16 ties in each zone with the winners of the ties progressing to a ‘last 64’ Round 3 which is, as noted, ‘all in’.

The dates of the rounds are as follows:

First Round: Saturday 11th Sept 2021
Second Round: Saturday 16th Oct 2021
Third Round: Saturday 20th Nov 2021
Fourth Round: Saturday 5th Feb 2022
Fifth Round: Saturday 5th Mar 2022
Quarter Final: Saturday 2nd Apr 2022
Semi Final: Saturday 30th Apr 2022
Final: Sunday 22nd May 2022