The Easter Road side will be in action during the group stages having missed out on the possibility of European football this season. It will mean a quick turnaround for the players and any new management team with the current campaign finishing next weekend (May 15).
Rivals Hearts won’t begin their Premier Sports Cup campaign until the midweek of August 30th due to their participation in the qualifiers for the Europa League as they’ll join Celtic, Rangers and two of Dundee United, Motherwell or Ross County by entering for the last 16.
Bonnyrigg Rose will also feature in the competition as champions of this season’s Lowland League. Fraserburgh are also invited as champions of the Highland League. The Midlothian club defeated Fraserburgh 3-2 across their cinch League Two play-off semi-final and will now battle Cowdenbeath for a place in the SPFL next term.
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Buckie Thistle will also participate in the Premier Sports Cup due to their being an extra spot available in the group-stage round with five Scottish teams competing in Europe next term. The decision was made to extend the invite to the Highland side after the Lowland League received two spots last term.
This will be the first year since the competition was reshaped in 2016 that there will be no regionalisation in the group stage after a recommendation from the SPFL Competitions Working Group. The move was initially made to incorporate more derby matches into the groups, though it’s led to a number of teams facing off against familiar opponents each year.
The final will once again take place after the new year. It’s traditionally been in a pre-Christmas slot since the 2016 rebrand but will be held next term on February 26.
Hibs competed in the final of this season’s Premier Sports Cup. After entering at the last 16 stage, they defeated Kilmarnock, Dundee United and Rangers before ultimately losing the final 2-1 to Celtic.
After making it through their group unscathed, Hearts were eliminated at the last 16 stage after unfortunately drawing the eventual winners at Celtic Park.