Following Uefa approval it has been officially announced that Bray Wanderers & Sligo Rovers will join the Scottish Irn – Bru trophy this season.
The two sides were selected as Ireland’s highest-ranked non-European participants.
There are 56 sides competing including sides from Wales & Northern Ireland and the first round draw will take place on June 27th.
The full competition details and format will be released soon.
Dundee United are the current holders of the Irn – Bru Cup.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are thrilled to be working with our friends at the League of Ireland and offer both Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers a warm welcome to the IRN-BRU Cup following a very successful first year under the new format.
“Scottish football is leading the way with innovation around cross-border football which is likely to be a key part of the footballing landscape in the coming years. We developed strong and positive relationships with our counterparts in Northern Ireland and Wales last season, alongside our iconic and innovative sponsor, IRN-BRU, and look forward to doing the same with the League of Ireland, Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers in 2017/18.”
Welcoming League of Ireland clubs Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers into the competition, Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at IRN-BRU, said: “The revamped IRN-BRU Cup competition has proven to be a real hit with players, managers and supporters who last season enjoyed the exciting experience of being able to compete against different opposition, as well as travelling down to Wales and over to Northern Ireland.
“We’re really pleased to welcome Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers from the League of Ireland this season as the decision to extend the cross-border element is an innovative and unique approach for British and Irish football. As the football sponsor with balls we’ll continue to bring new ideas and personality to the cup while playing our part in connecting supporters to the competition on the road to the IRN-BRU Cup Final.”
FAI Director of Competitions, Fran Gavin added: “The Football Association of Ireland were delighted to receive the invitation for two SSE Airtricity Premier Division teams to participate in the IRN-BRU Cup. I know both Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers are relishing the opportunity to play against new opposition and will be looking to advance as far as possible in the competition. Both clubs have full time professional squads and have a reputation for playing an exciting brand of football which we hope will enhance the IRN-BRU Cup.
“We have watched the competition grow with the inclusion of clubs from Wales and Northern Ireland last season and we are delighted to be participating in the 2017/18 IRN-BRU Cup.”
Only10,000 bottles have been made in honour of the 2017/2018 Irn Bru Cup 👀 pic.twitter.com/eT6nQePFlI
— Rory Houston (@roryhouston) June 7, 2017