Wolves to enter EFL Trophy

Chesterfield, Crewe and Accrington Stanley in the group stages

Wolves have accepted an invitation to enter this season's EFL Trophy which will see their Under-21 squad taking on senior opposition.

And the team have been drawn in a group with Chesterfield, Crewe and Accrington Stanley.

Sixteen Category One Academies from the Premier League were invited to take part in this season’s competition against first teams from Sky Bet Leagues One and Two, but several declined the invitation.

That has opened up the opportunity to other clubs with Category One status, and, having mulled over the decision, Wolves have decided to enter the competition.

Kevin Thelwell said:  “We are really pleased that our Under-21 squad will now have an opportunity to compete in the EFL Trophy.

“As a Category One Academy, we are already in the position of being able to provide our young players with a challenging games programme against top quality opposition, and this new development - playing against senior teams from Leagues One and Two - is an extension of that.

“We had always been ready to consider entering the tournament if the opportunity arose, and when the invitation came it was just a case of getting together with the coaching staff, assessing when the fixtures would be and what our squad is looking like, and making the decision.

“The fact that there is a group stage with the guarantee of at least three fixtures provides our young players with a really testing challenge and a great experience, on top of their own league schedule, as they continue their development.

“The opportunity to play in a stadium in front of a decent crowd against senior professionals can provide a really positive spike in their programme, and can only help prepare them further for their hopeful progression through to our own first team at Wolves.

“We are really looking forward to seeing how they do."

Wolves must include at least six Under-21 players in their starting line-up in the EFL Trophy fixtures.

The fixtures will be announced when they are confirmed.

The EFL Trophy has had many different names over the years, but it is a competition Wolves won in 1988, beating Burnley at Wembley in front of a crowd of 80, 841.