THE first round draw for the 2018 FAI Senior Cup has thrown up a number of intriguing ties for the Cork-based teams.
Cork City will begin their defence of the trophy they have won for the past two years with an away trip to face Home Farm of the Leinster Senior League.
John Caulfield’s side have very fond memories of the FAI Cup in recent years and their quest to the Aviva Stadium sees them travel to take on the Dublin club that is famously known for its youth system.
Dozens of footballers that have passed through Whitehall and gone on to have illustrious careers at club and international level, including Richard Dunne, Kenny Cunningham, Stephen Ward, Ian Harte and Ronnie Whelan.
Home Farm won the FAI Cup in 1975 when they defeated Shelbourne 1-0 in the final. City will hope the trip to Dublin will be the first step on their mission to securing three cup crowns in succession.
Elsewhere, Stephen Henderson’s Cobh Ramblers side have an away trip to Oriel Park and Dundalk to look forward to. The same two sides are also playing each other on August 6 in the EA Sports Cup semi-final at St Colman’s Park.
Ramblers made it to the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup in 2016. They should have a tough test against Stephen Kenny’s side, who have lost the last two years in the final to Cork City, while also winning the competition in 2015.
Blarney United have been handed a mouth-watering home tie against Derry City. These two sides have previous in this particular competition, with Derry making the trip to O’Shea Park in both 2006 and 2013.
Recently crowned Munster Senior League First Division champions Leeds will travel to face 2018 FAI Intermediate Cup champions Maynooth University in the opening round.
The draw, which was made by FAI President Tony Fitzgerald and former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff, took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Aviva Stadium.
All the FAI Cup opening round ties are currently scheduled to take place on the week ending August 12th.