The SSE Airtricity League outfit join compatriots Bohemians; Crusaders and Coleraine from Northern Ireland’s Danske Bank Premiership; The New Saints and Connah’s Quay Nomads from the JD Welsh Premier League; Sutton United and Boreham Wood from the English Vanarama National League; the 30 Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2 clubs; under-21 ‘Colt’ teams from each of the 12 Ladbrokes Premiership clubs, as well as representatives from the Highland and Lowland leagues.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are delighted to welcome back Sligo Rovers to this year’s IRN-BRU Cup. This is a competition that continues to evolve and innovate, and we believe that makes it exciting for players and supporters alike.”
Martin Heraghty, Sligo Rovers chairman, added: “We would like to thank the SPFL for extending this invitation to take part in the IRN-BRU Cup again. We look forward to testing ourselves once more against opposition from different countries, and hope we can make it a prolonged stay this time.”
Fran Gavin, from the Football Association of Ireland, added: “We are delighted to again have our clubs take part in the IRN-BRU Cup this season. It’s a tournament that has worked well, and we are confident both Sligo Rovers and Bohemians will benefit from being involved.”
The Challenge Cup was established in 1990/91 to mark the Scottish Football League’s centenary and has been run every year since, with the exception of 1998/99.
This season’s first round ties will be played on August 14 and 15, with second round ties scheduled for September 8/9.