FAW Premier Cup could be road to Europe

Last updated : 14 July 2004 By Michael Morris
The FAW Premier Cup is set for a new format next season. It's been reported that the competition will see an increase from 12 to 16 teams with Merthyr Tydfil joining Newport, Swansea, Wrexham and Cardiff City as the 5 teams from the Football League pyramid.

The mini league format used at the moment will be ditched for a knockout format with a seeded draw.

8 teams will play in round 1. The 4 winners will be joined in round 2 by 4 teams who have a bye through round 1.

The four round 2 winners will then meet last years winners, Rhyl, and Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham in the 1/4 finals.

The unconfirmed proposals will go before a special meeting of the clubs. It has already been agreed by the FAW Premier Cup board.

This competition could now be a way back into Europe for the likes of Cardiff City and Swansea and Wrexham. Maybe not as a reward for winningthe 2004 / 2005 seasons FAW Premier Cup but the following year.

The FAW will now lobby Uefa on the matter.

"It is up to us, as a Premier Cup board, to really make a go of seeking this European place and I can assure everybody we will leave no stone unturned," Premier Cup Chairman Mike Skewis told the Western Mail.

"We've got to reach breaking point on the issue, find out just how good a case we have got and whether it is one we can win.

"What we have already discovered is that there are some little examples in other countries, which we will be putting to Uefa.

"For example, DerryCity are based in Northern Ireland, yet qualify for European football via the Republic of Ireland. We will explore every avenue and seek FAW help and what we believe is a vital issue."