Wee Hibees in Europe: key dates, draw information and competition format

Little Hibees will find out who they will face in the UEFA Youth League draw which will take place on Wednesday August 31 at 12:00. We looked at the contest and its format!

The Hibees are one of 64 teams to compete for Europe’s best age group award. It will be the first time Hibs have played in the UEFA Youth League since the competition began in 2013.

How it works?

The 64 teams are divided into two distinct routes; the UEFA Champions League path and the domestic champions path, both of which start in September 2022.

The UEFA Champions League route mirrors the UEFA Champions League senior calendar. Teams and groups are the same as for the Champions League draw and will follow the same fixture list.

The second path is the national champions path – this is where the Hibs are involved. These teams are the domestic champions of the top-ranked incoming associations whose senior team did not qualify for the Champions League group stage.

With Hibs U18 winning the league last year but the first team failing to finish in a Champions League berth, the little Hibees will take the path of domestic champions.

The domestic champions path is a knockout qualifying path, which involves two rounds before a play-off with a runner-up from each UEFA Champions League group.

Which Hibees are eligible?

The UEFA Youth League is an under-19 competition. This means anyone born in 2004 or later will be eligible for selection.

So Jacob Blaney, Josh McCulloch, Oscar MacIntyre, Murray Aiken, Robbie Hamilton, Josh O’Connor, Malik Zaid, Kanayo Megwa and Murray Johnson who were all part of Gareth Evans’ U18 league winning squad last year and have since graduated from U18 football – will be eligible for selection.

Key dates

The Hibees will participate in the first round of the UEFA Youth League and will play a home and away game (home and away). We will know our first-round opponents in the draw on Wednesday August 31 at 12:00 (GMT).

Round 1 go: September 14, 2022
Round 1 return: October 5, 2022

If we progress in the first round, we will play a tie in the second round, again drawn.

Round 2 first leg: October 26, 2022
Round 2 return: November 2, 2022

The winner of the second round match will then advance to the play-off round where they will meet a runner-up from the UEFA Champions League path.

Play-offs: February 7/8, 2023

The UEFA Champions League path group winners and eight play-off winners will then form the competition’s last 16, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final which will take place on 24 April 2023.

Potential opponents

UEFA usually determines the matches of the first round of the competition according to “sporting and geographical criteria”. This means that it is likely that we will be drawn against a team from a country closer to home to avoid clubs traveling too long distances – such as a team from France, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Northern Ireland or Scandinavia.

However, that is not guaranteed and the little Hibees could face a team from other European countries including; Serbia, Romania, Switzerland, Greece, Latvia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Ukraine.

The full list of teams participating in the UEFA Youth League Domestic Champions Path draw is as follows:

Nantes (FRA)
AZ Alkmaar (NED)
Genk (BEL)
Hibernian (SCO)
Rukh Lviv (UKR)
Galatasaray (TUR)
Omonia (CYP)
Crvena zvezda (SRB)
Slavia Prague (CZE)
Hajduk Split (CRO)
Young boys (SUI)
Panathinaikos (GRE)
Ashdod (ISR)
Mold (NOR)
Slavia Sofia (BUL)
Csikszereda Miercurea Ciuc (ROU)
Gabala (AZE)
Astana (KAZ)
Zaglebie Lubin (POL)
Domzale (SVN)
Trencin (SVK)
Zalgiris (LTU)
Racing Union (LUX)
Borac Banja Luka (BIH)
Shamrock Rovers (IRL)
Pobeda (MKD)
Pyunik (ARM)
Jelgava (LVA)
Apolonia (ALB)
Coleraine (NIR)

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