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Regional format for Highland League Cup


By Craig Christie

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NEXT season’s Highland League Cup will be split into three geographical sections in a brand new group stage format.

William Hill Scottish Cup Clachnacuddin v Nairn County...Clach's Ross Logan...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No..
William Hill Scottish Cup Clachnacuddin v Nairn County...Clach's Ross Logan...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No..

Highland League secretary Rod Houston said the new format would give clubs extra derby fixtures and at least two additional home matches to compensate for the reduced league programme.

Houston added the 2020-21 competition would comprise two groups of six clubs and one group of five, split into three geographical zones.

Which clubs appear in which group has yet to be revealed, Houston said, but each club will play each other once, with the group winners and the best runner-up progressing to the semi finals.

The league secretary also explained how the venue of local derby matches would be reversed from those produced in the Highland League fixture programme.

“The new format is an interim arrangement and one we can accommodate in a 16-game league season,” he said.

“The groups will be in zones. What we appreciate is that for clubs, the income from derby matches is quite important. Maximising matchday revenue is really quite important this forthcoming year after what we’ve been through.

“So if, for example, Nairn County were home to Forres Mechanics in the league, the League Cup fixture would be the reverse of that.”

While the groups have not been finalised, it is certain that champions Brora Rangers will be placed with Wick Academy, Clachnacuddin and Fort William in a west section, possibly with Nairn and Forres.

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