Wolves under-23s will get their Premier League Cup campaign underway against West Ham United at Aggborough next week after the fixtures for this season’s competition were confirmed.
James Collins’ side will face the Premier League 2 Division 1 side from 2pm on Friday 3rd September, while Wolves have also been drawn against the winner of the qualification match between Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City which will take place later that evening.
Depending on the outcome of that match, the under-23s will head to either Home Park or St James Park two weeks later on Monday 15th September.
Swansea City make up the final of the four teams in Group F of the 2021/22 competition, with Wolves paying a visit to south Wales in early October.
The fixtures will then be reversed throughout December, January and February, with the top two teams from the group making it into the knockout stages, where the eight group winners are seeded as they take on one of the eight group runners-up in the competition's last 16.
Under-23 head coach Collins is excited to see the competition return again after a Covid-enforced break last season. “One of the disappointments of last year, was that we probably didn’t have enough fixtures – for obvious reasons,” he said.
“When you’re trying to prepare under-23s for first-team football, first-teams have 46 games a season. Look at Pedri, he’s only 18, but played something like 60/70 games last season in the Spanish league and at international level. I think our boys only played about 15 to 20 – a third of what he did.
“The more fixtures and the more competitive fixtures at that age, the better. Obviously, we don’t want them burning out, but we’re trying to prepare them for league football.
“It’s great the Premier League Cup has come back this season, because that guarantees a number of fixtures and it also gives everyone an opportunity to play.”
The under-23s’ confirmed Premier League Cup fixtures are as follows:
- 03/09/21 | West Ham United (H) | Aggborough Stadium (2pm)
- 08/10/21 | Swansea City (A) | Swansea City Academy (2pm)
- 13/12/21 | West Ham United (A) | Rush Green Training Ground (2pm)
- 05/01/22 | Swansea City (H) | Aggborough Stadium (2pm)
To be confirmed:
- 15/09/21 | Plymouth Argyle (A) or Exeter City (A) | Home Park (2pm) or St James Park (7pm)
- 11/02/22 or 14/02/22 | Plymouth Argyle (H) or Exeter City (A) | Aggborough Stadium (2pm)
All fixtures are subject to change.