Those are the details that have come out today as the eight clubs in both the northern and southern section to receive a bye in the first round have been named. The regional sections are then further split into west and east and the Blues have been placed in the western group alongside Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town, Morecambe, Port Vale, Preston North End, Rochdale and Tranmere Rovers, the Lilywhites at home or away obviously the main draw that Carlisle will want to avoid from a competition progression perspective.
Big names like Coventry City and Sheffield United meanwhile potentially lurk further on in the northern half of the draw with the Blades actually picking up a bye through the opening stage of the trophy. The Bramall Lane outfit looking on from the sidelines when the draw for the regionalised first round takes place on SKY's Soccer AM programme between 10am and 10.30am on the morning of Saturday 18th August with the games due to be played in the week commencing Monday 3rd September. The rest of the group and bye details for the draw being as follows:
First Round Byes
Northern Section - Bradford City, Bury, Crewe Alexandra, Doncaster Rovers, Hartlepool, Sheffield United, Shrewsbury Town, Walsall.
Southern Section - Barnet, Brentford, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Leyton Orient, Plymouth Argyle, Torquay United, Wycombe Wanderers.
First Round Draw Groupings
Northern Section - West
Accrington Stanley, Carlisle United, Fleetwood Town, Morecambe, Port Vale, Preston North End, Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers.
Northern Section - East
Burton Albion, Chesterfield, Coventry City, Notts County, Oldham Athletic, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United, York City.
Southern Section - West
AFC Bournemouth, Aldershot Town, Bristol Rovers, Exeter City, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Swindon Town, Yeovil Town.
Southern Section - East
AFC Wimbledon, Crawley Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Gillingham, MK Dons, Northampton Town, Stevenage, Southend United.
Round One - w/c 3rd September (draw date 18th August)
Round Two - w/c 8th October (draw date 8th September)
Area Quarter-Finals - w/c 3rd December (draw date 13th October)
Area Semi-Finals - w/c 7th January (draw date 8th December)
Area Finals First Leg - w/c 4th February (home/away draw in house following Area Semi-Finals)
Area Final Second Leg - w/c 18th February
Final - Sunday 7th April
* note - the Western and Eastern sections of the draw are used for Rounds One and Two only. From the quarter-finals on we move to fully regionalised Northern and Southern areas.
* and another note - I've just rung the Football League and byes for the first round are produced by the luck of the draw, but you can't receive a bye two seasons in a row. All the teams who received a bye in the previous season are automatically put into the round one hat for this season, and the eight byes per section are drawn from the sixteen remaining clubs.