The start of the 2019-20 Nathaniel MG Cup will mark an early start to the new Welsh domestic season.
The annual league cup competition has now been extended to include 48 teams from both the first and second tiers of the league system.
For two of the North West’s clubs, that means they’ll kick off their campaigns with first round ties on the first weekend of August.
The two Welsh Premier clubs in Gwynedd enter the fray the following weekend – along with Porthmadog, who were given a bye after their top three finish in the last season of the Huws Gray Alliance.
The first round draw, made in Cardiff on Wednesday, sees Welsh Alliance champions Llangefni Town drawn away at Llanfair United, another newly promoted club who clinched the Spar Mid Wales League title.
If Cefni come through their first test, they’ll go onto face last season’s HGA champions, Airbus, the following week.
And while off-the-field matters have arguably strained their relationship with the FAW, Bangor City start their cup campaign away at Conwy Borough.
The winners of the Morfa clash will take on nine-time cup winners The New Saints at Park Hall – potentially setting up a first meeting between City and the dominant force in Welsh league football since March 2018.
For the record, Bangor crashed out of last season’s competition, following a 1-0 home defeat to Llandudno, during the short-lived tenure of manager Craig Harrison. In the past, they’ve reached no fewer than six finals, but lost out every time.
The rest of the second round draw sees Caernarfon Town drawn away to the winners of the first round tie between wildcard entrants Berriew (from the Mid Wales League) or Corwen, newly promoted from the Welsh National League.
The Canaries also suffered an early exit last time out, going down 4-2 at Rhyl in the opening round.
By contrast, Bala Town went as far as the quarter finals before being knocked out by Connah’s Quay Nomads. Their interest in the league cup also begins with the second round, when they’ll meet either Gresford Athletic or Colwyn Bay at Maes Tegid.
Porthmadog return to the competition after missing out last season – their last League Cup tie saw a 5-3 exit to Holyhead Hotspur in the first round two years ago.
Filnt Town United await Port, and their new manager Sion Eifion Jones, at Cae-y-Castell.
2019-20 NATHANIEL MG CUP FIRST ROUND
Conwy Borough v Bangor City
Llanfair United v Llangefni Town
Ties to be played on the weekend of Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th August
2019-20 NATHANIEL MG CUP SECOND ROUND
Berriew or Corwen v Caernarfon Town
Bala Town v Gresford Athletic or Colwyn Bay
Airbus Broughton v Llanfair United or Llangefni Town
Conwy Borough or Bangor City v The New Saints
Flint Town United v Porthmadog
Ties to be played on the weekend of Friday 9th – Sunday 11th August