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Archived News from September 2016

2nd September 2016 20:39

Do you know the changes to the Checkatrade Trophy?
mansfieldtown.net, 29th August 2016

This season’s Checkatrade Trophy competition has been completely revamped, but what exactly is the format?

A total of 64 clubs will compete in the competition beginning with 16 groups of four teams, each of which includes at least one club from each of Leagues One and Two, along with one invited team.

The top two sides in each group will then go into a knockout stage that will culminate in a showpiece final at Wembley Stadium on April 02.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/do-you-know-the-changes-to-the-checkatrade-trophy-3276354.aspx#ReTcsvwxfKARKRYT.99

The new look competition also has an enhanced prize fund with an expected £1.95m being up for grabs, including £10,000 per win and £5,000 per draw during the Group Stage and £100,000 for the eventual winner.

Competition format


- 48 clubs from League One & Two.
- 16 invited Category One Academy teams.

Eligibility criteria:

- EFL clubs - a minimum of five ‘first team’ players in the starting 11 as defined under the competition’s existing rules.
- Invited clubs - six of the starting 11 to be U21 (as of 30 June 2016).

Group Stage:

- 16 groups of four teams organised on a regionalised basis.
- Groups to include one invited club and at least one club from each of Leagues One and Two.
- Clubs to play each other once, either home or away. Invited clubs will play one home game at the club’s first team stadium.
- Clubs will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw. In the event of a drawn game (after 90 minutes), a penalty shootout will be held with the winning team earning an additional point.
- The top two teams will progress to the Knockout Stage.

Knockout Stage:

- Round 2 (32 teams) will remain regionalised with each group winner being drawn at home to a second placed team from a different qualifying group.
- Round 3 (16 teams) and Round 4 (eight teams) will be ‘free’ draws.
- Semi-finals (four teams) will be a 'free’ draw and will consist of single ties played at the stadium of the club drawn first in each tie.
- If scores are level after 90 minutes in Rounds 2, 3 and 4, the game will be determined by the taking of penalties.

The EFL will confirm arrangements for the Semi-Finals and Final in due course following further consultation.


Opinion by Martin Shaw

On Tuesday it’s the start of the EFL Trophy (Checkatrade Trophy) and a game for Mansfield Town against Doncaster Rovers.

I’ve heard plenty of fans suggest that if this competition is a success then we’ll see Premier League U23 sides in the Football League in the future. I don’t think that’s true. I heard the new chairman of the Football League interviewed recently. He was asked what would happen if two U23 teams reached the final at Wembley. He basically said it would knock the idea of the experiment on the head as no-one would have wanted that. And he said that the bigger Premier League teams not being involved was "disappointing". Listening between the lines, I took it that the experiment is effectively over before it's started. I don't believe at all that many of the top Premier League clubs want to have their U23's play in the Football League, as evidenced by the bigger clubs pulling out of this competition. And Richard Scudamore, the Premier League CEO, has repeatedly said recently that the Premier League does not want its teams having U23 teams playing in the Football League itself.

The whole idea of the EFL Trophy this season is flawed in my opinion though. The Premier League and Championship U23 teams should never have been introduced and the prospect of playing extra games with the round-robin stage at the start of the tournament, is ludicrous when the Football League rather schizophrenically recently suggested that the size of the leagues needs to be reduced to 4 divisions of 20 clubs because the clubs are plying too many games.

On a practical note, I think each team can make 5 or 6 changes from their previous league game, or take a £5,000 fine.

I had originally thought that Danny Rose’s 3rd game of his suspension will be in the EFL Trophy against Doncaster. It turns out he is eligible for the EFL Trophy game but suspended for the league against Cambridge. A bit of a shame actually, but that’s the situation. According to Adam Murray it’s because the EFL Trophy games are considered a block of three. Or something like that anyway! Presumably Danny Rose will get a game on Tuesday then. Adam Murray will surely make as many changes as he’s allowed giving precious game time to the likes of Taft, McGuire, Baxendale, Hoban, and Danny Rose.


Doncaster Rovers: First sight of Alfie Beestin against Mansfield Town
The Sheffield Star, Tuesday 30 August 2016

Interest in the Football League’s lower-division cup competition may be at an all-time low but Doncaster Rovers supporters should have something to intrigue them in tonight’s trip to Mansfield Town.

Summer signing Alfie Beestin is set to make his Rovers debut in the Checkatrade Trophy clash at Field Mill.

Darren Ferguson Boss Darren Ferguson has high hopes for the 18-year-old creative midfielder, who joined from Tadcaster Albion earlier this month.

But he says Beestin still has lots to learn about life as a professional footballer if he is to succeed at Rovers.

“He needs to learn a lot about looking after himself and eating the right things,” Ferguson told The Star.

Read more at: http://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/sport/doncaster-rovers/rovers-news/doncaster-rovers-first-sight-of-alfie-beestin-against-mansfield-town-1-8094416?

“He’s got to develop physically. He’s come from a totally different environment so we’ll give him time.

“He’s one that probably after Christmas you’ll see the best of.

“Ability-wise, he’s got a hell of a lot. I’m quite excited by the lad, without building him up too much.

“I can see things in him. I feel, if we do the right things with him, he can be a really good player.”

Beestin returned to the subs bench for Rovers for Saturday’s win over Yeovil Town after a bout of illness.

While he has yet to taste first-team action, he played 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game with Nuneaton Town last Tuesday.

Beestin could replace James Coppinger at the tip of a midfield diamond, with Ferguson hinting at resting the veteran midfielder after a busy start to the season.

Competition rules mean Ferguson tonight can make a maximum of six changes to the side that beat Yeovil.

“I will be making changes on Tuesday,” he said.

“I can only make six but there is a good chance I will be making six.

“I need to make sure the ones that haven’t been playing are match-fit.

“It’s not about playing a weakened team. The ones that have been on the bench have to get 90 minutes if they can.

“Whatever team I pick on Tuesday, it’ll be a case of I want us to win the game and would expect us to win the game if we play well.

“The players are fully aware of that.”

After three consecutive league wins, Rovers are building the momentum that will hopefully deliver a promotion push.

While the Checkatrade Trophy is often seen as a distraction even for teams with far less lofty ambitions than Rovers, Ferguson insists he has a great deal of respect for the competition.

He said: “I don’t think it will get in the way. It’s a different format now with a group rather than a one-off game.

“We’ll treat it with respect because it’s a good tournament. I’ve been fortunate to win it as a player and a manager.

“Once you get through the initial stages, it really can catch the imagination.

“We’ll treat it accordingly and I will pick a team that can do a job.”



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