The final groups for Round One of the 2018/19 Checkatrade Trophy have today (Wednesday) been confirmed at a media briefing in Central London.
Former competition winners Paul Heckingbottom and Gregor Robertson picked out the 16 Invited Under-21 teams who were drawn into the Northern and Southern sections of the competition.
As with 2017/18, the Groups in the Checkatrade Trophy have been arranged so that EFL Clubs and their fans face the minimum overall travelling time to matches, whilst the Premier League and Championship’s Invited U21 teams will play all their Group games away from home.
The Bantams will be pitted against Everton U21s after the Toffees were added to City's Group F schedule for the competition.
Barnsley and Oldham Athletic will also be in City's Northern Section group for the first stage of the trophy.
2018/19 Competition Format
- First Group Stage matches are currently scheduled to take place w/c 3 September.
- Dates for Group Stage fixtures will be released by 30 July.
- The Final is the 31 March.
- 16 groups of four teams;
- Each group to contain one invited team;
- 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.
- Round Two (last 32) will remain regionalised with Group winners at home against a second placed team from a different qualifying Group;
- Round Three (last 16) will remain regionalised;
- Quarter-Finals will be drawn without geographical restriction (no regionalisation);
- If scores are level after 90 minutes, all knock-out rounds will be decided by penalties except for the Final, which will have extra-time and then penalties.
- A fourth sub in extra-time for the Final ONLY
Team Selection Criteria
For Invited Teams:
To meet the criteria for season 2018/19 Invited Teams must comply with the following:-
- 6 from 11 in the starting line-up at U21 level as at 30th June in the preceding each season.
- Teams may only include 2 players over 21 who have made 40 or more senior appearances.
A senior appearance will be defined as having played in a professional first team fixture. A non playing substitute does not count.
For EFL Clubs
- 4 qualifying outfield Players from 10.
- A Club can play any eligible goalkeeper in the Competition
A qualifying outfield Player will be one who meets any of the following requirements:-
- Any Player who started the previous or following first team fixture.
- Any Player who is in the top 10 Players at the Club who have made the most starting appearances in League and Domestic Cup Competitions that season.
- Any Player with 40 or more First Team appearances in their career.
- Any Player on loan from a Premier League or Category One Academy Club.
NB. No Player can appear for 2 different teams in the Competition.