SPFL reintroduce reserve leagues after nearly a decade's absence
By Ruaraidh Scott
Last Updated: 24/07/18 11:04am
The Scottish Professional Football League has announced the return of the reserve leagues, with 27 clubs competing across two divisions.
Development leagues have been in place since 2009, but with limitations on the amount of over-aged players allowed to take part in games, the SPFL has now decided to replace them.
There will be no age restrictions with regards to participation in the new reserve leagues, other than a minimum age of 16.
In a statement released by the SPFL, they said: "It would benefit the development of young players if they were playing alongside more experienced players on a more regular basis."
"These changes complement recent amendments to loan regulations which provide, generally, that any player loaned out by an SPFL club is eligible to return and play in non-first team football for the lending club."
The top division of the Reserve League consists of 18 clubs, who will play each other once across a 17-match season. Fixtures will usually be scheduled for Monday afternoons.
Reserve League 2 is made up of nine clubs, who will play each other once at home and once away across a 16-match season. Fixtures will take place in midweek evenings.
The SPFL is also introducing divisional Reserve League cups, with the format mirroring the Betfred Cup in that any drawn group games will lead to penalties with an additional bonus point available.
The top division of the Reserve League is scheduled to start on Monday August 20, with Reserve League 2 kicking off the following midweek.
Reserve League clubs:
Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee, Dundee United, Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk, Hamilton Academical, Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Morton, Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Queen of the South, Rangers, Ross County, St Johnstone, St Mirren.
Reserve League 2 clubs:
Airdrieonians, Albion Rovers, Ayr United, Berwick Rangers, East Kilbride, Livingston, Queen's Park, Raith Rovers, Stirling Albion.
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