The SJFA West Region Premiership is a semi-professional football league run by the West Region of the Scottish Junior Football Association. It is the highest tier of league competition for its member clubs. It is formally known as the West of Scotland Super League Premier Division. It was created in 2002 with the amalgamation of the top leagues of the Central and Ayrshire districts.
Since the season 2007-8, the winners of the SJFA West Region Premiership league have been eligible to enter the senior Scottish Cup at its earliest stage having Pollok being the first champions to take part in the Scottish Cup. Two clubs have been automatically relegated to the Super League First Division since 2002. These clubs are replaced by the clubs placed first and second in that division.
In season 2006-7 a relegation play-off was added in the league where the club which finishes third-bottom contests a two-legged play-off against the team which finishes third in the Super League First Division. In 2017, the West Region clubs voted to organize all leagues on a region-wide basis. After that, the Super League Premier Division was rebranded as the West Region Premiership from 2018 onwards and will consist of sixteen clubs.
The West Region:
The West Region is one of three regions of the SJFA which organize their own distinct league and cup competitions. Back then, the SJFA used to be split into six regions. Bout in 2002, they took the decision to reform into three. This was decided to try to ensure more games between the top clubs and hence increase their revenues.
In 2002, the amalgamation of the Central and Ayrshire regions formed West Region. However, a West of Scotland Junior FA has existed since the end of the Intermediate dispute in 1931. Since then, it administered the West of Scotland Cup.
The Merge of Central Junior League:
In 1968, the first phase of rationalization saw the Central Junior League merge with the even older Lanark shire (1891) to create the Central region. With Neilston Juniors and Dunoon Athletic, the Western Junior League became the Ayrshire region transferring to the Central region.
The league set-up in the region was a combined top division from 2003-2018, officially known as the SJFA West of Scotland Region Super League Premier Division with the West of Scotland Region Super League First Division below.
At the end of the season, there were two district leagues that provide the First Division with two clubs each. Having two divisions, there was a Central District League and an Ayrshire District League, with the four teams relegated from Division One assigned to their historic region.
The West Region has 63 member clubs. The new members are Gartcairn F. A. Juniors who joined for the 2015–16 season. In 2018, Dunipace F.C. left junior football to join the East of Scotland League for season 2018-19.
Six cup competitions for member clubs are organized by the West Region:
West of Scotland Cup
It is known as New Coin Holdings West of Scotland Cup for sponsorship purposes. This tournament is a knockout tournament for all West Region clubs. In 1927-28, this tournament was originated as the Scottish Intermediate Cup and was renamed The West of Scotland Cup following the ending of the Intermediate dispute in 1931.
The Central League Cup
It is known as the Euros cot Engineering League Cup for sponsorship purposes. This is another knockout tournament for former Central Region clubs in the West Region. This tournament was firstly played in 1921-22. During that time, it was known as the Glasgow Junior League Cup.
The Ayrshire Cup
This tournament is known as the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup for sponsorship purposes. In the West Region, it is a knockout tournament for former Ayrshire Region clubs. It was originated in 1889–90 as the Ayrshire Junior Challenge Cup.
The Central Sectional League Cup
This is famous as the Excel Group Sectional League Cup for sponsorship purposes. The tournament is for former Central Region clubs. Furthermore, this tournament is an opening competition of the season. In this tournament, the clubs initially compete in eight groups with the group winners advancing to a knockout competition. The groups are bases geographically and comprise the same clubs each season. In this tournament, the matches in the group stages are played under league rules so a player is not cup-tied by turning out for a particular club.
The Ayrshire Sectional League Cup
This one is known as the Ardagh Glass Sectional League Cup for sponsorship reasons. It is for former Ayrshire Region clubs. In this tournament, the clubs initially compete in four groups with group winners and runners up advancing to the knockout stages. The format is the same as that of the Central Sectional League Cup
Evening Times Champions Cup
During the preceding season, this tournament is played at the end of the season between the winners of the five West Region league competitions. In this tournament, the champions of the Ayrshire District League and Central District Second Division play in a preliminary round tie with the winners of that game joining the other three clubs at the semi-final stage.
The first trophy of the Evening Times was presented in 1896–97 to the winners of the Glasgow Junior League. It has been also awarded to the winners of various competitions over the years. From 2003 to 2012, the competition involved all ten leagues and cup winners in the West Region and was known as the Evening Times Cup Winners Cup.
Current Cup Holders:
- Central League Cup – Pollok (2017-18 competition)
- Ayrshire Cup – Kilwinning Rangers (2017-18 competition)
- Central Sectional League Cup – Clydebank (2017-18 competition)
- Ayrshire Sectional League Cup – Auchinleck Talbot (2017-18 competition)
- Evening Times Champions Cup – Beith Juniors (2017-18 competition)
- Clydesdale Cup – Lesmahagow
West Region Premiership 2019-20 is the second season of the top SJFA West league since it was rebranded and extended. The champions of this competition are eligible to enter the season 2020-21 Scottish Cup at the preliminary round stage.