COWDENBEATH will join local rivals Kelty Hearts in competing in a revamped national cup competition next season.

The Blue Brazil have been invited to participate in the SPFL Trust Trophy for the 2024/25 campaign, which will not feature cross-border clubs who were first invited in 2016.

Teams from Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and England have previously had the chance to participate in the tournament, but SPFL chief executive, Neil Doncaster, said that their involvement "does further complicate our already congested fixture schedule".

It means that SPFL clubs outwith the top flight will be joined by 11 Premiership 'B' teams, as well as six Lowland League clubs - including Cowden - from 2024/25, and five Highland League sides.

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Joining the Blue Brazil from the Lowland League are Albion Rovers, Berwick Rangers, Bo'ness United, East Kilbride and East Stirlingshire, whilst Banks o' Dee, Brechin City, Buckie Thistle, Formartine United and Fraserburgh will represent the Highland League.

There will also be increased prize money on offer in next season's competition, totalling a record-breaking £790,000, with £100,000 for the winner.

In addition, each club, whether at home or away, that participates in a tie televised live on BBC Alba will receive a 'facility fee payment' of £1,500.

"We're really pleased to announce record prize money for the SPFL Trust Trophy next season," Doncaster explained.

"The SPFL Trust have been fantastic supporters of this important cup competition. Their investment, and the continuing generosity of James and Morag Anderson, is greatly appreciated.

"We have very much enjoyed the participation of cross-border teams, who have competed in six seasons of this competition since they first joined in season 2016/17.

"However, their involvement does further complicate our already congested fixture schedule. Hence the SPFL Trust Trophy will revert to a Scottish-only competition next season.

"We are delighted to welcome five Highland League clubs and six Lowland League clubs into the SPFL Trust Trophy next season."

Cowdenbeath and their fellow Lowland League clubs, as well as those from the Highland League and the Premiership 'B' teams, will enter in the first round, which takes place during the midweek of July 30-31.

Kelty Hearts, quarter-finalists in 2022/23, will enter at the third round stage, to be played over the weekend of September 7-8, alongside other clubs who placed first to 10th in League One last term; the teams who finished first to third in League Two; the sides who were second to 10th in the Championship; and Livingston, who were relegated from the Premiership.

The draw for the opening rounds of the SPFL Trust Trophy will take place in early July.