Shillong, Feb 18: Shillong Lajong have been drawn with three other clubs in Group B of the Second Division League, the division below the I-League, it was revealed by the All India Football Federation today.
There are 19 clubs in all taking part, with three groups featuring five teams each and Group B with only four.
Lajong are teamed up with United SC (another former I-League side) of Kolkata, the reserve team of East Bengal (previously in the I-League but now in the Indian Super League) and BLG Diamond Rock FC of Madhya Pradesh.
Seventeen clubs were seeded directly but Lajong and Downtown Heroes FC (who are in Group A) came through the four-team qualifying round.
The winners of each group plus the best second-placed team will qualify for the final round.
SLFC have twice gained promotion through the Second Division; they qualified for the 2009-10 I-League season (where they became the first club from the North East to ever take part) but were relegated. However, they then won the next edition of the Second Division and reentered the I-League in 2011-12.
This year is the first time that Lajong are taking part in the Second Division League since they were relegated from the I-League for a second time, in 2018-19.
(Shillong Lajong FC/Facebook photo)