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Category One Academy Sides Confirmed For 2019/20 EFL Trophy

14 June 2019

Club News

Category One Academy Sides Confirmed For 2019/20 EFL Trophy

14 June 2019

The invited Under-21 teams for next season’s EFL Trophy have been confirmed.

Liverpool and Manchester United Under-21s will become the latest Category One Academy sides to appear in next season’s competition.

They join the likes of Leicester City and Manchester City Under-21s in the competition, who Dale both faced last season.

It also means the Premier League’s ‘top six’ is represented in the EFL Trophy for the first time, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur also involved.

The format, which sees 16 invited teams joined by the 48 Clubs in Leagues One and Two, continues to provide EFL Clubs with a platform for some of the country’s finest young talent to experience first-team football, alongside an opportunity to create additional revenue.

Dale’s youngest ever debutant record has been broken twice in the past two editions of the EFL Trophy.

Dan Adshead appeared against Bury in 2017/18 at the age of 16 years and 17 days, before Luke Matheson broke that record last season, also against Bury, at the age of 15 years and 336 days.

EFL Executive Chair, Debbie Jevans, said: “The EFL Trophy continues to grow and we are delighted to welcome Liverpool and Manchester United U21s to the competition.

“The recent feedback received from Clubs and coaches has been very positive with the current format continuing to offer greater revenue for our Clubs and competitive first team football for young talent.”

The Group Stage draw for this year’s competition will take place in July, with the first round of fixtures scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 2nd September.

As in previous seasons, each Group will contain one of the invited Category One Academy teams, who will play all of their Group fixtures away from home.

If a Group match ends in a draw, a penalty shootout will continue to decide who earns the extra bonus point that is on offer.

Two teams qualify from each group, with Rounds Two and Three in the knockout stages regionalised. There will be no regionalisation from the Quarter-Finals onwards.

Invited teams are selected based on the Club’s final league position at the end of the 2018/19 season, with the first 16 with Category One Academy status invited to take part.

The full list of invited Under-21 sides is as follows:


Manchester City

Aston Villa

Manchester United

Brighton & Hove Albion

Newcastle United


Norwich City




Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester City

West Ham United


Wolverhampton Wanderers


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