Women's Cup set for new season

Little more than month has gone by since 1. FFC Frankfurt defeated Umeå IK to win the UEFA Women's Cup but the 2008/09 draw takes place on Thursday.

The 2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup begins in September
The 2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup begins in September ©Sportsfile

Newcomers
Frankfurt and Umeå are among 43 entrants, including nine newcomers – German runners-up FCR 2001 Duisburg, Russian champions Zvezda-2005, AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands, Ukrainian title-holders Naftokhimik, Belgium's KVK Tienen, Swiss side FC Zürich Frauen, the Republic of Ireland's Galway LFC, Vamos Idaliou from Cyprus and Estonian representatives FC Levadia Tallinn. The seven teams with the highest coefficients will be excused the first qualifying round, in which the other 36 entrants will be drawn into nine groups of four, with one club each from a quartet of seeding pots – for the first time, there is no geographical element. Nine clubs have been designated mini-tournament hosts so will be drawn separately, while maintaining their respective seedings.

Second stage
The winners of each pool will advance to the second qualifying round, with the allocation of the four groups also decided in this draw. Frankfurt will be automatically placed in Group B1, second seeds Umeå and 2007/08 semi-finalists ASD CF Bardolino Verona will be in Group B2, 2006/07 winners Arsenal LFC will have the chance to avenge last season's quarter-final loss to Olympique Lyonnais in Group B3 and competition regulars Brøndby IF are with newcomers Duisburg in Group B4.

Knockout rounds
Two sides from each group will advance to the quarter-finals, with the tournament a two-legged knockout competition from there on in. The draw for the knockout rounds is already decided, and should Frankfurt and Umeå win both their groups and their quarter-finals, they will meet in the last four next spring. Frankfurt could even have a last-eight encounter with league rivals Duisburg.

2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup ranking list
Bye to second qualifying round (7 teams)
Rank Country Club Group
1 Title-holders (GER) 1. FFC Frankfurt B1
2 SWE Umeå IK B2
3 ENG Arsenal LFC
B3
4 DEN Brøndby IF B4
5 GER FCR 2001 Duisburg
B4
6
FRA Olympique Lyonnais
B3
7
ITA ASD CF Bardolino Verona B2
First qualifying round: 4-9 September (36 teams) – host club in bold
Seed Country Club Pot
1
ISL
Valur Reykjavík 5
1
AUT
SV Neulengbach 1
1
CZE
AC Sparta Praha
5
1
BLR WFC Universitet Vitebsk
5
1
POL AZS Wroclaw 1
1
KAZ
Alma KTZH
5
1
NOR RØA Idrettslag 1
1
SRB ŽFK Mašinac Niš 1
1
RUS
Zvezda-2005 5
2
HUN 1. FC Femina Budapest
4
2
BIH ŽNK SFK 2000 Sarajevo 1
2
ISR Maccabi Holon FC
4
2
ROU
CFF Clujana 4
2
NED
AZ Alkmaar
4
2
ESP
Levante UD
4
2
POR SU 1° Dezembro 4
2
GRE FC PAOK 4
2
BUL FC NSA Sofia
4
3
BEL KVK Tienen
3
3
FIN FC Honka Espoo
3
3
SVN ŽNK KRKA Novo Mesto 3
3
UKR Naftokhimik 3
3
SUI FC Zürich Frauen 3
3
WAL
Cardiff City LFC
3
3
MDA FC Narta Chisinau
3
3
CRO NK Osijek 3
3
LTU
Gintra Universitetas
3
4
SVK FK Slovan Duslo Sala
1
4
FRO
Klaksvíkar Ítrottarfelag 2
4
SCO
Glasgow City LFC
2
4
MKD
ŽFK Skiponjat 1
4
NIR
Glentoran Belfast United 2
4
IRL
Galway LFC
2
4
GEO FC Dinamo Tbilisi
2
4
CYP
Vamos Idaliou
2
4
EST
FC Levadia Tallinn 2

2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup second qualifying round: 9-14 October
Hosts tbc, other places to be allocated during first qualifying round draw
Group B1 Group B2
1. FFC Frankfurt (GER, holders) Umeå IK (SWE)
  ASD CF Bardolino Verona (ITA)
   
   
Group B3 Group B4
Arsenal LFC (ENG) Brøndby IF (DEN)
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
FCR 2001 Duisburg (GER)
   
   

2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup knockout rounds (first team named home in first leg)
Quarter-finals: 5/6 & 12/13 November
1: Runners-up Group B4 v Winners Group B1
2: Runners-up Group B3 v Winners Group B2
3: Runners-up Group B2 v Winners Group B3
4: Runners-up Group B1 v Winners Group B4
Semi-finals: 28/29 March & 4/5 April
1: Winners Quarter-final 1 v Winners Quarter-final 2
2: Winners Quarter-final 3 v Winners Quarter-final 4
Final: 16 & 23 May
Winners Semi-final 1 v Winners Semi-final 2

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