The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

THE EFL have de­fended the Check­a­trade Tro­phy de­but and pro­vided some fig­ures to sug­gest that all is not as bad as the doom-mon­gers sug­gested.

An EFL spokesman said: “De­spite some neg­a­tiv­ity in the build-up to the first group games, the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Check­a­trade Tro­phy for­mat has been wel­comed by many, with over 42,000 fans go­ing through the turn­stiles.

“Ad­mit­tedly, there were some dis­ap­point­ing gates at a num­ber of games but we are hope­ful at­ten­dances will im­prove as the com­pe­ti­tion starts to gather pace next month.

“An im­por­tant fac­tor in the driv­ing of at­ten­dances is, of course, the qual­ity of foot­ball on of­fer and, in that re­spect, the first Check­a­trade match day week did not dis­ap­point with lots of en­cour­ag­ing signs that clubs will be us­ing the com­pe­ti­tion to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to their younger, up and com­ing play­ers that have not been pre­vi­ously avail­able at a com­pet­i­tive level.”


●A to­tal of 24 young play­ers (aged 15-18) made their de­buts for League One and League Two sides in the first round of the Check­a­trade Tro­phy; ●A to­tal of five young play­ers scored their first se­nior goals for clubs in the first round of the Check­a­trade Tro­phy: Gilling­ham – Dar­ren Ol­daker; Don­caster Rovers – Al­fie Beestin & Ric­cardo Calder; Crewe Alexan­dra – Daniel Udoh; and Wal­sall - Maz Kouh­yar; ●Lu­ton Town and Bury both broke club records with their youngest ever ap­pear­ance mak­ers. Chuk­wue­meka Obi at 15 years and 86 days for Bury and Con­nor Tom­lin­son aged 15 years and 199 days old for Lu­ton Town; ●Ten of AFC Wim­ble­don’s start­ing XI fea­tured in their open­ing Sky Bet League One fix­tures; ●Eight English play­ers in the Millwall start­ing XI had come through the club’s Academy sys­tem. CAT­E­GORY 1 CLUBS ●Alex McCarthy played for Southamp­ton in the com­pe­ti­tion. The goal­keeper has been called up to the Eng­land se­nior squad; ●Scot­land in­ter­na­tional Char­lie Adam played for Stoke City at Brad­ford City; ●Eng­land Un­der-21 in­ter­na­tion­als Ben Chilwell and De­marai Gray both started for Le­ices­ter City at Sh­effield United; ●11 English play­ers rep­re­sented Le­ices­ter City through­out the game; ●11 English play­ers rep­re­sented Southamp­ton at Charl­ton; ●Teams fielded were pre­dom­i­nantly young English play­ers – three with nine English play­ers; ●Al­most 75 pr cent of the start­ing line-ups were young English play­ers aged 21 and un­der (114 from 154); ●The eli­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria re­quires at least 55 per cent of start­ing line-ups to be aged 21 and un­der.

ENG­LAND MAN: Alex McCarthy

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