Port Vale land Premier League academy in EFL Trophy draw

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Port Vale have been drawn against Newcastle United’s academy in the EFL Trophy.

The Valiants were placed in the same group as Macclesfield and Shrewsbury by the EFL, meaning they face John Askey’s two previous clubs in management.

But today’s draw also put Newcastle in Group D

Details of dates and kick off times have yet to be announced.

Vale got out of their group last season and went on to reach the quarter finals but were beaten 3-0 at League One outfit Bristol Rovers.

The club won this competition in 1992/93 under John Rudge and in 2000/01 under Brian Horton.

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However,  it has been controversially restructured to allow Premier League clubs and Championship sides to enter their academy teams.

Academy sides have been involved in the competition since 2016/17 but this is the first year that Manchester United and Liverpool have entered.

Vale played Stoke City’s academy last season on their way to the quarter finals but City have not been invited to fill one of the 16 academy spots this year.

Liverpool and Manchester United had initially shunned the tournament after it was opened up to under-21 Academy teams to join clubs from League One and League Two.

But next season will see Man Utd, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all take part.

 

There are 16 Category One clubs in all and invitations have been decided based on league position. Fulham, just relegated from the top flight, are the only Championship team after rejections from five Premier League clubs.

The tournament – formerly known as the Checkatrade Trophy – has faced significant criticism from supporters, particularly fans of lower league clubs, and boycotts have been staged.

 

The Vale v Stoke game attracted an attendance of 7,940 attendance, the second biggest for any EFL Trophy tie featuring an Academy side up to that point – although the evening was marred by crowd trouble in the away end.

The tournament was previously called the Checkatrade Trophy but that sponsorship ended last season.

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