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EFL Trophy

14 June 2016

U's open to U21s involvement.

The U's are open to Premier League U21s sides being involved in the EFL Trophy this season.

Formerly the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, this year's competition will include sixteen Academy sides from the Premier League.

This change was voted in by the EFL clubs in Portugal last week, and U's General Manager Tim Waddington insists that there are positives to take from the changes, despite opposition from some quarters.

He told U's Player on Monday afternoon: "It was received in mixed fashion within football. 

"But for my money, the EFL Trophy, JPT as it was, needed a bit of freshening up, it had lost a bit of traction. 
"We all know there are plenty of Premier League fans in Colchester, what we want to do is get them to the ground and actually realise football is accessible in Colchester."

"There are some teams, the likes of Spurs, Arsenal, Man United, Man City, their U21s would help bring people to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

"From a Colchester United  perspective, I think it's a bonus.

Tim continued: "Some clubs were vehemently opposed to bringing in Premier League clubs, but it was voted for as a whole and we'll give it a go for a year with these sixteen teams in it. 

Two teams from each group will progress to the knockout stages, with the final being played at Wembley in April 2017.

There will be sixteen regional groups of four teams, with the Premier League side having one home game in the group stages.

Along with the Premier League U21s sides entering, there will be group stages before the competition reverts to a knock-out rounds.

"It was good, it was strong, but a mix up could be pretty good."

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