Longford Town the first to host Shamrock Rovers II as new promotion play-off structure revealed

Fri, Jan 10 2020

Drogheda United ultras make their presence felt during last year's play-off final with Finn Harps. Credit: Clare McCahill (ETPhotos)

Longford Town will be the first side to host the newly-formed Shamrock Rovers II when the League of Ireland First Division kicks off on Friday, February 21.

The Hoops’ reserve side will line out as the tenth side in the league following the dissolution of Limerick but will be ineligible for promotion nor to compete in the FAI and EA Sports Cups.

Relegated UCD face a trip to Wexford on the opening day, while Cabinteely will host Bray Wanderers in a local derby.

Galway United host Athlone Town on Friday night while Drogheda United, who reached the play-off final last year, will travel to Cobh Ramblers on Saturday evening.

The promotion/relegation series has been expanded to four teams, with sides placed second to fifth facing off in two-legged games for a chance to gain access to the top tier.

The league proper will wrap up after 27 rounds of fixtures the end of September before six rounds of play-off fixtures will decide the make-up of the 2021 Premier Division.

Second will play fifth and third will play fourth over two legs, with the winners meeting over a further two legs, before finishing with another series against the team ninth in the Premier Division.

With Rovers II barred from promotion, that means five out of nine eligible teams in the division will have at least a play-off in their bid for promotion.

Download the full fixture list here.

Promotion/relegation play-off series structure

Friday, October 2

4th placed First Division club v 3rd placed First Division club

5th placed First Division club v 2nd placed First Division club

Friday, October 9

3rd placed First Division club v 4th placed First Division club

2nd placed First Division club v 5th placed First Division club

Friday, October 16

Winner of 4th/3rd Play-off v Winner of 5th/2nd Play-off

Friday, October 23

Winner of 5th/2nd Play-off v Winner of 4th/3rd Play-off

Monday, October 26

Winner of First Division Play-off series v 9th placed Premier Division club

Friday, October 30

9th placed Premier Division club v Winner of First Division Play-off series