EFL Trophy Changes To Be Trialled

Plans to expand the EFL Trophy to include Premier League Academy/Under-21 sides will be piloted next season.

EFL clubs agreed proposals to trial the new structure in the 2016/17 campaign at their 2016 summer conference.

The changes to the Football League Trophy - formerly the Johnstone's Paint Trophy - format will see 16 Premier League category one Academy/Under-21 sides join the 64 clubs that make up League One and League Two in contesting the competition.

Everton, of course, have a category one Academy based at the Blues' Finch Farm complex.

The idea behind the deviation from the existing structure is to help create more and better homegrown players.

Central to the 2016/17 version of the tournament will be the introduction of a new group stage with 16 regional groups of four teams.

The top two teams will then progress to the knockout stages, with the final staged at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.  

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