All Highland League sides will gain entry into the 2020-21 Scottish Cup after a revamp of this season’s tournament was announced.
With the delay to the start of the campaign as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2019-20 competition still to complete there had been talk of a cut in the number of teams allowed to play in the Scottish Cup this term and the potential that Highland League club’s may miss out.
However, that will not be the case with Buckie Thistle, Clachnacuddin, Deveronvale, Formartine United, Forres Mechanics, Fort William, Huntly, Inverurie Loco Works, Keith, Lossiemouth, Nairn County, Rothes, Strathspey Thistle, Turriff United, Wick Academy entering in the second preliminary round, which is scheduled for Saturday December 12.
Meanwhile, last season’s champions Brora Rangers and runners-up Fraserburgh will enter the tournament in the first round which is scheduled for Boxing Day.
The first preliminary round is pencilled in for November 28 and will feature Junior clubs including North Superleague champions Banks o’ Dee.
Joining the first round winners, byes and Highland League sides in the second preliminary round will be teams from Lowland League.
In the first round proper League Two clubs will enter, while League One and Championship sides will enter in the second round on January 9 with Premiership clubs joining in round three on January 30.
Replays have also been scrapped for the tournament to avoid fixture congestion.
All competing clubs have the option to decline entry to the tournament, while still receiving the financial payment equivalent to being knocked out in the first round they would enter.