Welsh League Cup
The Welsh Premier League Cup (also known as the Nathaniel MG Cup) is a cup competition in Welsh football organised by the Welsh Premier League. The competition was established in 1992 and is considered to be the second-most important domestic cup competition for Welsh football clubs, after the older and more prestigious Welsh Cup. Unlike the Welsh Cup, where 135 teams entered in 2008–09, the competition is only open to the members of the Welsh Premier League and a very select few other clubs. It should not be confused with the Welsh Football League Cup, which is for the clubs in the Welsh Football League, which despite its name only covers the south and centre of Wales.
|Number of teams||28|
|Current champions||Cardiff MU|
|Most successful club(s)||The New Saints|
|2018–19 Welsh League Cup|
Since the inaugural season in 1992/93 the format of the competition has changed many times. The 2006/07 season saw the introduction of a new format for the competition. Beginning in August, the eighteen premier league teams are split into six regionalised groups of three teams. The six group winners and two runners-up enter a quarter-final knock-out phase, followed by a two legged semi-final match before ending with the final in April.
The current format, introduced in 2014/15, saw a radical shake up for the competition. The 12 Welsh Premier League teams are joined by six teams each from the two feeder leagues, and also four wildcard entrants. 24 teams enter Round 1, with the previous season's four semi-finalists receiving a bye through to Round 2. The draw for each round is regionalised as per competition rules, with teams being divided between northern and southern sections. The format changed slightly for the 2018/19 season, with each round up to the semi-finals being regionalised, and the semis an open draw. The semi-finals will also take place over a weekend for the first time.
From 2019/20 the format is to be expanded significantly with all 44 teams from the top two tiers of the Welsh football league system taking part as well as two wildcard entries. Twenty-eight clubs will enter in Round 1, which will be made up of any club without floodlights; the two wildcard entries; and the remaining teams ranked lowest in their respective Tier 2 league from the previous season. Round 1 will be regionalised, as will all rounds up to the Semi-Final stage. The fourteen winners will join the eighteen remaining sides in Round 2. This will be seeded so that Premier League sides are not drawn against one another. The winner of the tournament will gain entry to the Scottish Challenge Cup.
The first Welsh League Cup was won by Afan Lido in 1992/93, who beat Caersws FC 4–3 on penalties, after drawing in the final 1–1.The New Saints hold the record for the most League Cup titles; they have won the competition six times. Bangor City hold the distinction of making the most number of appearances in the final and losing on every occasion (6).
Since 2003, the League Cup has been named after its sponsor, giving it the following name:
- Loosemores League Cup (2003 to 2012), sponsored by Loosemores Solicitors (Cardiff)
- The Word Cup (2012 to 2016), sponsored by theWord, a Cardiff-based telecommunications provider.
- Nathaniel MG Cup (2016 to present), sponsored by Nathaniel MG Cars, a car sales company based in Bridgend and Cardiff.
Results by teamEdit
- Correct as of 19 January 2019.
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Total Appearance||Last Final|
|The New Saints||9||1||10||2018|
|Connah's Quay Nomads||1||–||1||1996|
|Port Talbot Town||–||1||1||2006|
|Cambrian & Clydach Vale||–||1||1||2019|
- The New Saints total includes wins under previous names: Total Network Solutions and Llansantffraid.
- "The Loosemores League Cup". welshpremier.com. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
- "Nathaniel MG Cup winners to qualify for IRN-BRU Cup from 2019/20 season". www.wpl.cymru. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
- "Welsh League Cup Final – Match Report 1992/93". welsh-premier.com. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "List of Welsh League Cup Finals". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Welsh League Cup – All Time Results". welsh-premier.com. Retrieved 7 May 2011.