The Magic of the Cup is a step closer for fans in New South Wales' northern regions following the first FFA Cup Preliminary Rounds Draw by Football Northern NSW on Wednesday.
The draw, hosted live on Facebook by Football Northern NSW, saw 46 of the region’s 67 competing clubs in the FFA Cup discover their first-up opponents as the competition makes its return in 2021.
The qualifying path for Football Northern NSW clubs is divided into a Northern Conference and Southern Conference in the early rounds in 2021.
This year the Northern Conference features 17 teams from the Football Far North Coast, North Coast Football, Northern Inland Football and Football Mid North Coast zones.
The Southern Conference features community clubs from Newcastle Football, Macquarie Football and Hunter Valley Football, before the addition of high profile NPL Northern NSW clubs in later rounds.
The Northern Conference fixtures will commence in Byron Bay with Byron Bay FC hosting Pacific Palms Panthers as the sole Round 2 fixture in the Northern Conference.
The winner of that match will join 15 further clubs in Round 3 of the Northern Conference, where they will meet travel to face Coffs City United.
In the Southern Conference, previous season’s surprise packets Hamilton Azzurri drew an away trip to Kotara South in Round 2 in one of the intriguing first-up fixtures.
Five clubs in the Southern Conference also drew a bye straight into Round 3 – Nelson Bay FC, Bolwarra Lorn FC, Beresfield United Senior, Mayfield United Junior and Garden Suburb FC.
The fixtures for Round 3 in the Southern Conference were also drawn, seeing teams now plot their path to Round 4.
Fixture dates, venues and kick-off times will be confirmed at a later date.