Wolves under-21s discover EFL Trophy opponents

Wolves have been drawn against Blackpool, Carlisle United and Morecambe as the under-21s make their return to the EFL Trophy for the 2019/20 season.

Rob Edwards’ side, who missed out on a spot in the knockout stages last season, are one of 16 invited Academy teams to join the 48 clubs in League One and League Two who will make up the competition this year.

Wolves, who were ball number eight in the northern section of the draw, were placed in Group G on Friday lunchtime, with the team due to travel away to the three teams during the course of the season as the four teams play each other once in the group stages of the tournament.

The first round of EFL Trophy fixtures for the under-21s are scheduled to take place in the week commencing Monday 2nd September.

Speaking about the competition, Edwards said: “The EFL Trophy is a great competition which we all enjoyed last season.

“The lads really looked forwards to playing in it, especially as it gives us competitive games in front of crowds at football league stadiums.”

The under-21s faced Mansfield Town, Lincoln City and Scunthorpe United in the 2018/19 season, coming up short on ‘goals scored’ after three teams in their group of four were tied on points and goal difference.

Full fixture details and ticket information for the 2019/20 EFL Trophy will be confirmed in due course.

EFL Trophy factfile:

Group stages

  • 16 groups of four teams
  • Each group to contain one invited team
  • Groups formed to minimise overall travel for EFL clubs and fans
  • Invited under-21 teams to play all group games away
  • Clubs will be awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw
  • In the event of a drawn game after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout will be held with the victorious team gaining an extra point
  • Top two clubs qualify from each group

Knockout rounds

  • Round two will remain regionalised with group winners at home against a second placed team from a different qualifying group
  • Round three will remain regionalised
  • Quarter-finals will be drawn without geographical restriction (no regionalisation)
  • If scores are level after 90 minutes, all knockout rounds will be decided by penalties except for the final, which will have extra-time and then penalties

Player criteria

  • Six of the 11 players in the starting line-up need to be under-21 at 30th June this year
  • There can be no more than two players who are over 21 and have made more than 40 appearances for the first team (either in the starting 11 or as a playing substitute) as of 30th June
  • Players who are out on loan are ineligible for this competition
  • Top two clubs qualify from each group
  • It is not possible to appear for more than one club in the tournament, so the cup-tied rule applies.

Wolves’ competition history

  • 1985/86: Group stages
  • 1986/87: Round one
  • 1987/88: Winners
  • 1988/89: Southern Area final
  • 2013/14: Round two
  • 2016/17 (under-21s): Round three
  • 2018/19 (under-21s): Group stages

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