Wolves under-21s to compete in 2020/21 EFL Trophy

Having made it into the knockout stages of last season’s competition, Wolves will return to the EFL Trophy for the upcoming season as one of the 16 Category One Academy sides taking part.

James Collins will lead the Wolves under-21 side in the 2020/21 edition of the tournament, after Wolves fell in the second round to Salford City, with the Ammies still yet to play the final of last season’s competition, due to Covid-19 putting an end to the League One and League Two campaigns.

The under-21s faced Carlisle United, Morecambe and Blackpool last time out, reaching the knockout stages having finished second in the group behind the Seasiders thanks to a 4-2 win away at Carlisle and a penalty shootout victory against the Shrimps.

However, Wolves’ EFL Trophy campaign came to an end in the second round, following a 3-0 defeat to eventual finalists Salford at Moor Lane.

This season’s format once again sees 16 invited Academy teams, including Wolves, joined by the 48 Clubs in League One and League Two and continues to provide EFL Clubs with a platform for some of the country’s finest young talent to experience first-team football.

The draw for the EFL Trophy group stages will take place on Tuesday 18th August at 1.30pm, broadcast live on TalkSport 2, with the first matchweek of fixtures scheduled to take place on the week beginning 7th September, culminating in a final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 14th March 2021.

2020/21 EFL Trophy dates:

  • Matchday 1: 8/9th September
  • Matchday 2: 6/7th October
  • Matchday 3: 10/11th November
  • Round of 32: 8/9th December
  • Round of 16: 12/13th January
  • Quarter-finals: 2/3rd February
  • Semi-finals: 16/17th February
  • Final: 14th March

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
  • 2019/20 (under-21s): Round two