The EFL have confirmed the 16 invited under-21 teams for the 2017/18 Checkatrade Trophy. Newcomers Fulham, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur taking their place in this season’s competition.
The list of teams are:-
Brighton & Hove Albion
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
The group stage draw will take place in July. The first round of fixtures are scheduled to take place week commencing 28th August.It is expected that many League 1 and League 2 fans will continue their boycott of this competition.
As part of the revamp of this competition it was greed that EFL clubs will have greater flexibility with regard to team selection, while still maintaining the principle that this is a first-team competition which will support the development and progression of young players. A number of Clubs were fined for fielding youngsters last season.
The competition will also provide significant financial rewards for all EFL clubs, which increases with success.
EFL CEO Shaun Harvey in ignoring fans views had this to say
I was delighted when EFL clubs collectively backed the competition following a full and comprehensive review of last season’s pilot format, and we can see from the increasing interest from Category One Academies that the Checkatrade Trophy has genuine appeal.
The competition provides a unique challenge to young players and seasoned professionals alike. I strongly believe players from League One and League Two clubs will look forward to taking on some of the country’s brightest prospects, who will themselves learn a lot from participating in a first-team competition.
I want to thank EFL clubs and the Category One Academies for their support. I believe the balance of the competition should benefit all sides and will make for some intriguing matches when the group stages get under way in August.