Rochdale will compete in this season’s Central League Cup.
Dale have been drawn in Group 1 of the competition, alongside Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Rotherham United and Shrewsbury Town.
Rochdale will play two games at ‘home’ and two on the road, with details of our home venue set to be announced in due course. Provisional fixture dates will also be released in due course.
Manager Brian Barry-Murphy tells us more about why he was keen for Dale to take part in this season’s competition.
“The Central League Cup was something I witnessed as a young player at Preston and it provided a cup competition of unique stature, in that it was my first taste of cup football," said BBM.
“It gives the young players a chance to play in competitive cup action and it provides them with different scenarios against different teams from different leagues. It’s imperative that our young players are exposed to that.
“The integration process of playing alongside established professionals who may play in these games for any given reason is unique, and it’s something that our success at the club has been built on in terms of developing young players in tandem with our older players.
“I feel that entering this competition is a natural progression for the squad and very, very beneficial for everybody.
“It’s important that there’s a natural pathway between youth team games and then coming into what we call our integration squad, where those young players – aged 15, 16, 17 and 18 – link in with first team players.
“There’s a great band of age groups who come into our first team environment, and that chance to be mixed in with some senior players is unique. For me, it’s imperative that we continue to enhance that and make it even better moving forward.”