Draw for the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup revealed

Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden (left) and Aberdeen legend Willie Miller making the draw for this season's Aberdeenshire Cup.
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden (left) and Aberdeen legend Willie Miller making the draw for this season's Aberdeenshire Cup.

The draw for the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup, which was first played for in 1887, has been made.

Aberdeen legend and Evening Express columnist Willie Miller and Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden had the honour of drawing the ties at Aberdeen Journals’ offices in Marischal Square.

In the pot were Aberdeen, Highland League sides and Juniors Banks o’ Dee.

The first round is to be played on Wednesday July 31, with Keith meeting Inverurie Locos at Kynoch Park and Deveronvale tackling Aberdeen at Princess Royal Park.

In the quarter-finals, Buckie Thistle are at home to Turriff United, Huntly host Formartine United at Christie Park, Fraserburgh face Keith or Inverurie at Bellslea and Deveronvale or Aberdeen take on Banks o’ Dee, with the ties to be played on Wednesday August 21.

The semi-finals are scheduled for Wednesday September 4, with the final pencilled in for the first week of October.

Aberdeenshire and District Football Association (ADFA) secretary Willie Young said: “There’s some great ties in there and I’m really looking forward to the Aberdeenshire Cup this year.

“Having Aberdeen involved is always good for the competition and we have Highland League clubs and Banks o’ Dee from the juniors as well.

“It’s a wide spread of teams, which is great news for the association and the Evening Express.

“We’re very lucky with the breadth in the competition because it gives us a great mix.

“It was also great to have an absolute legend of Scottish football in Willie Miller help us with the draw.

“I was listing his honours before the draw and he told me that during a loan spell at Peterhead from Aberdeen he won the Aberdeenshire Cup. We’re also thankful for Councillor Lumsden for drawing the away ties.”

After the success of last season’s final being held on a Friday night the ADFA is keen to do the same this season.

Young added: “We would like to have the final on a Friday again. It will depend on a number of factors, but Friday October 4 is a date that could work and if it was on a Friday we’d hope to attract another big crowd.”

Last season’s winners Cove Rangers have chosen not to defend the trophy following their promotion to League Two, while League One Peterhead have also not entered.

Young said: “It’s disappointing that Cove and Peterhead aren’t in it, but we have to remember that Cove are newly-promoted to League Two.

“They have various commitments to fulfil so it will be a challenging season for them and they’re taking a break. Peterhead also have their commitments, but I believe over the next couple of seasons Cove and Peterhead may return to the competition.”

Aberdeenshire Cup draw in full: First round (to be played Wednesday July 31).

Keith v Inverurie Locos, Deveronvale v Aberdeen

Quarter-finals (to be played Wednesday August 21).

Buckie Thistle v Turriff United, Huntly v Formartine United, Fraserburgh v Keith/Inverurie Locos, Deveronvale/Aberdeen v Banks o’ dee.

Semi-finals (to be played Wednesday September 4).

Buckie Thistle/Turriff United v Fraserburgh/Keith/Inverurie Locos. Deveronvale/Aberdeen/Banks o’ dee v Huntly/Formartine United.

Final (to be played first week in October).

Semi-final 1 winner v semi-final 2 winner