The Reserve Leagues, which replace the Development Leagues, have been introduced following discussions at the Competitions Working Group over the last 18 months.
The Competitions Working Group, which is attended by Malky Mackay (Scottish FA Performance Director), representatives from all four SPFL Divisions and was previously chaired by Ian Maxwell, was of the view that it would benefit the development of young players if they were playing alongside more experienced players on a more regular basis.
As such, there are no age restrictions with regard to participation in the Reserve Leagues (other than a minimum age of 16).
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 first division of the Reserve League comprises 18 clubs, who will play each other once for a total of 17 matches across the 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 for a total of 16 matches across the season. Fixtures will take place in midweek evenings.
Divisional Reserve League Cups will be played to provide additional games during the season, with the format mirroring the Betfred Cup in that any drawn group games will proceed to penalties with an additional bonus point available. Further details on the cup competitions will be confirmed in due course.
It is anticipated that Reserve League fixtures will be published later this week. The first division of the Reserve League is scheduled to start on Monday August 20, with Reserve League 2 kicking off the following midweek.
Heart of Midlothian
Queen of the South
Reserve League 2