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Club News


20 June 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion's under-21 side at the Kassam Stadium last season.

A Brighton & Hove Albion under-21 side will once again compete in the Checkatrade Trophy next season, as the club enter the competition for a third year in succession.

Simon Rusk’s team reached the third round of the tournament in 2016/17, before exiting in the group stage last season, despite recording a penalty-shootout victory over Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

The Seagulls will get another chance to progress in the competition next season, as they are joined by 11 other Premier League clubs fielding an under-21 side.

The likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea will join Albion in the competition, alongside another four Championship clubs and 48 EFL clubs from League One and League Two respectively.

A few rule changes have been made for the 2018/19 competition, with EFL clubs now being given the opportunity to include players who are out on loan at National League clubs.

Invited teams, such as Albion, will only be able to name two players who are over the age of 21 and have made more than 40 first-team appearances throughout their career.

Albion under-21 coach Simon Rusk said, “We’re delighted to participate in the Checkatrade Trophy again - it has certainly been beneficial for us over the past two seasons.

“A number of players have gained experience from matches against EFL clubs, as we continue to prepare them for a career in the senior game.

“We’ve recorded victories over a handful of EFL clubs in recent seasons, and we’ll be looking to once again progress as far as we can this time around.”

EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, added, “Feedback from all levels of the game is indicating that the competition is starting to reap the benefits that we all envisaged at the outset of the revamp.

“I’m confident the format will continue to prosper with increasing support from clubs and their fans.

“The Checkatrade Trophy will continue to provide young players, from invited teams and EFL clubs alike, with a unique opportunity to experience first-team football and I look forward to seeing the stars of 2018/19 emerge as the competition progresses.”

The draw for the group stage of the competition will take place in July, with the first set of group stage matches currently scheduled for the week commencing Monday 3rd September.

The tournament will continue with the same format as last season, which will see Albion play all of their group stage matches away from home against three sides from League One and League Two.

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