The draw for the first round of the eircom League Cup has taken place with games due to be played midweek from 2nd to 4th April. Again, the competition has been drawn into roughly regional groups for the first two rounds. The third round is the first "open" draw of the competition.
The three confirmed European entrants Derry City, Drogheda United and Cork City all receive first round byes and while Saint Patrick's Athletic are set to also take a European berth at Shelbourne's expense, both of those Dublin clubs also receive byes.
Kilkenny City, Kerry League and Sligo receive the other three byes in the first round with Fanad United coming into the competition to replace Mayo League as one of the two "non-league" teams taking part.
The Bohemians v Bray and Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk games will not take place on the originally nominated date though due to the refixing of the league game between Bohs and Rovers - which is set for 3rd April. These two games are set for the following week.
Finn Harps v Fanad United
Monaghan United v Galway United
Byes: Derry City and Sligo Rovers
Waterford United v Wexford Youths
Cobh Ramblers v Limerick 37
Byes: Cork City and Kerry League
Athlone Town v Longford Town
Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk
Byes: Drogheda United and Kilkenny City
Bohemians v Bray Wanderers
Kildare County v UCD
Byes: St Patrick's Athletic and Shelbourne
The winners of this season's League Cup are not guaranteed a place in the Setanta Sports Cup but instead must play off against the winners of the First Division for the place. In the event that the League Cup winners pick up a Setanta spot through the League or FAI Cup, the next available team in the eircom League Premier Division will go into the play-off.
Speaking after the draw, Director of the eircom League of Ireland Fran Gavin said : "The First Round has thrown up some great fixtures. Wexford Youths making the trip to neighbouring Waterford United will be a fantastic occasion, while the pairing of Shamrock Rovers with their old rivals Dundalk also sets up a great match. With the possibility of entry into the Setanta Sports Cup for the eventual winners of the competition, this season's eircom League of Ireland Cup is sure to be very competitive."
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