The final groups for Round One of the 2018/19 Checkatrade Trophy have today been confirmed at a media briefing in Central London.
Former competition winners Paul Heckingbottom and Gregor Robertson picked out the 16 Invited Under-21 teams who were drawn into the Northern and Southern sections of the competition.
As with 2017/18, the Groups in the Checkatrade Trophy have been arranged so that EFL clubs and their fans face the minimum overall travelling time to matches, whilst the Premier League and Championship’s Invited U21 teams will play all their Group games away from home.
Newcomers to the competition, Arsenal U21s, have been placed in Southern Group E, with last year’s semi-finalists Chelsea U21s being handed trips to Newport County, Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town.
Last season’s winners of the competition, Lincoln City, will start their defence of the Checkatrade Trophy by trying to negotiate their way out of a Group that includes Mansfield Town, Scunthorpe United and Wolverhampton Wanderers U21.
Ahead of the draw, EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey was joined on stage from representatives across the game to discuss the principles of the competition, with the following spokespeople taking part:
- FA Director of Pro Game Relations, Andy Ambler
- England Under-20 Head Coach, Keith Downing
- Accrington Stanley Chairman, Andrew Holt
- Southampton Technical Director, Martin Hunter
- Sky Sports and talkSPORT Presenter, Jim White
Confirmed groups are as follows: