Following the conclusion of the 2022-23 JD Cymru Premier season, Haverfordwest County will now turn their attention towards the upcoming Europa Conference League play-offs.
Having secured top spot in the Playoff Conference following an impressive Phase Two, the Bluebirds have put themselves within two matches of playing European football in the summer.
Tony Pennock’s men, who rounded off their league campaign with a 4-1 victory at Airbus UK Broughton last Saturday, will compete against three teams from the Championship Conference to determine who takes the fourth and final European place.
Not sure how European qualification works in the JD Cymru Premier? Fear not, as we’ve put together a handy explainer to ensure you’re aware of the various ramifications!
How does European qualification work?
The JD Cymru Premier currently has four European places, something which is determined by the UEFA Coefficient, a metric which measures the performances of teams in European competitions. Wales’ top-flight league regained their fourth spot this season.
The first two European places are awarded to the JD Cymru Premier champions, and the team who finishes second. The third spot is awarded to the winner of the JD Welsh Cup, with the winner of the play-offs taking the fourth and final spot.
However, unsurprisingly, the winner of the JD Welsh Cup is often a team who has finished first or second. When this occurs, the team who finished third is awarded the third European spot, with fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh contesting the play-offs over two semi-finals and a final.
In most instances (when first or second has won the JD Welsh Cup) the play-offs see the team who finished fourth take on the team who finished seventh, with fifth playing sixth to make up the semi-final lineup.
The two highest-ranked teams (third and fourth or fourth and fifth) have the advantage of playing at home in the semi-finals, with home advantage for the final also determined by this method.
While this all sounds pretty straightforward, there is also the possibility of a curveball. Should the winner of the JD Welsh Cup be a team who finished fourth or below, the team who finished third would then be brought into the play-offs. This is important to note, as there is a possibility of this happening tomorrow, with Bala Town – who finished fifth – taking on The New Saints this Sunday, April 30.
Should TNS be successful, third-placed Penybont would be awarded the third European spot, with Cardiff Metropolitan, Bala Town, Newtown and Haverfordwest County making up the play-offs. On the other hand, if the Lakesiders come out on top, Penybont would drop into the play-offs.
Who could we face in the play-offs?
Put simply, we will either face Cardiff Metropolitan or Penybont away from home in the play-off semi-final.
A TNS victory on Sunday would see us take on the Archers, while a Bala Town win would mean a trip to Bridgend.
What date will the semi-final take place on?
The semi-finals will take place over the weekend of May 5 – May 7.
We will communicate the precise date as soon as we know our destination.
This video also explains how the play-off system works: