This weekend brings the latest round of the FAW Amateur Trophy, a competition for tier 3 clubs downwards where thankfully no seeding system exists.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Welsh Cup, which has been cheapened and blackened by the FAW’s latest policy to introduce rankings in the last 64.
Tier 1 Cymru Premier clubs should not need a helping hand to get into the last 32 – they are more than capable of reaching that stage on merit.
However, the ridiculous decision to bring in seeding this season for the 12 top flight clubs, as well as a few tier 2 sides, handed most of them virtually a free pass into the third round.
Ten of the 12 Cymru Premier entrants were given home draws.
Obviously, the result of last weekend’s farce was that all 12 elite clubs progressed, while 16 tier 2 and just four tier 3 from across Wales advanced.
Last weekend’s ties produced a few embarrassingly one-sided scores. Even worse was seeing some winning teams lauding it on social media afterwards.
The FAW said the idea behind early seeding was to increase the chance of more “David v Goliath” ties.
Well yes of course, the favourite versus the underdog is part of the cup romance, but such match-ups shouldn’t all come together so soon in the competition.
All that does is send the smaller clubs packing with less prize money than they might normally have been able to attain.
Meanwhile, all the bigger clubs march on with their bank balances benefiting.
It appears quite obvious that the FAW want the top clubs to progress as far as possible so one of them is assured of the Euro money on offer to the Welsh Cup winners.
With one less Welsh place in Europe available now, the FAW’s coffers already take a blow and we can’t have that happening twice. Forget the potential loss of vital income for grassroots clubs.
So thank heavens that Saltney Town managed to alone upset the script and become the only northern tier 3 club to make the last 32.
And the Bordermen from Ardal North West have a fair shout of getting through at the expense of visitors Penrhyncoch in round three.
Of course, now the Welsh Cup becomes an open draw in round three, anyone can get anyone, and lo-and-behold, we get a couple of all-Cymru Premier ties.
The open draw should have been in operation in round two. Not some seeding system which favours the bigger clubs massively.
Remember back in 2013-14, when Holywell Town created history by becoming the first-ever tier 3 club to reach the Welsh Cup semi-finals?
The best Welsh Cup story in years, but if this seeding farce remains for future seasons we can all but forget that fairy tale happening again.
JD WELSH CUP ROUND THREE DRAW (club tiers in brackets)
Aberystwyth Town (Tier 1) v Cefn Druids (T1)
Airbus UK Broughton (Tier 2) v Haverfordwest County (T1)
Bala Town (T1) v Pontypridd Town (T2)
Buckley Town (T2) v Monmouth Town (Tier 3 – Ardal South East)
Caernarfon Town (T1) v Prestatyn Town (T2)
Cambrian & Clydach (T2) v Penybont (T1)
Cardiff Met University (T1) v Barry Town United (T1)
Colwyn Bay (T2) v Ruthin Town (T2)
Conwy Borough (T2) v The New Saints (T1)
Dinas Powys (T3 – Ardal South West) v Guilsfield (T2)
Newtown (T1) v Carmarthen Town (T2)
Penrhiwceiber Rangers (T3 – ASW) v Flint Town United (T1)
Saltney Town (T3 – Ardal North West) v Penrhyncoch (T2)
Swansea University (T2) v Bangor City (T2)
Taffs Well (T2) v Llantwit Major (T2)
Trefelin BGC (T2) v Connah’s Quay Nomads (T1)
Ties to be played weekend of September 24 and 25