Wolves begin their U18 Premier League Cup campaign this weekend, with Steve Davis’ young side taking on Black Country rivals West Bromwich Albion in the opening fixture.
Being paired against West Midlands neighbours West Brom and Birmingham City in the group stages, Wolves will also face Manchester United, as the competition returns following a one-year hiatus having been replaced by an under-17 version last season.
However, the U17 Premier League Cup will also be back this month, with Wolves taking on West Brom, Birmingham and Aston Villa in Group G, in a competition where Davis will look to utilise his younger squad players, as well as some of this season’s most promising schoolboys from the under-16s.
The U18 PL Cup will begin on Saturday, as Wolves welcome West Brom to Compton Park for a Black Country derby from 11am, before travelling to Manchester United in October, and finishing the group stages at home against the Blues in November.
For both the under-18 and under-17 competitions, the top team from each group - and the best runner-up - will make it into the quarter-finals, which will be played over a single leg.
Davis understands that competing in both cup competitions alongside their U18 Premier League North campaign is going to be a tough challenge to his young and small squad.
He said: “It’s nice to have a break from the league and we obviously want to do well in every competition we’re in, so we’re going to take it as seriously as anything else.
“Everyone knows we’re working with a smaller amount of players this season and being in both competitions is going to stretch us a little bit, as we are predominantly an under-17 team anyway.
“We might have a couple of lads drop down from the under-23s who have been playing up, but that’s only if they’ve not been getting playing time. I’m glad that it’s being played on a Saturday, so it doesn’t clash with the 23s, as they play Wednesday/Monday this week, so we should be able to have everybody available for West Brom.
“They aren’t in our side of the league anymore, we’re in the north and they’re in the south, so it’s good to get this chance to play against our local rivals in the cups. They’ve played Arsenal, Chelsea and Fulham so far this season, so it’s been a tough start for them.
“We’ll take a look at how West Brom play and how we think we should play with the players we have available, so we’ll prepare for Saturday as we do for any other game, because every game is important for us.”
Wolves’ U18 Premier League Cup fixtures:
- 18/09/21 | West Bromwich Albion (H) | Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground (11am)
- 16/10/21 | Manchester United (A) | AON Training Centre (11.30am)
- 27/11/21 | Birmingham City (H) | Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground (6.30pm)
Wolves’ U17 Premier League Cup fixtures:
- 29/09/21 | West Bromwich Albion (H) | Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground (6.30pm)
- 26/10/21 | Birmingham City (A) | Trillion Trophy Training Centre (6.30pm)
- 24/11/21 | Aston Villa (H) | Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground (6.30pm)
All fixtures are subject to change.