Barnsley striker Cauley Woodrow says without experiencing men’s football in the EFL Trophy, he might not be in the position that he is in now.
Woodrow bagged two goals on his EFL Trophy debut back in 2013, in a 5-2 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge, and the 24-year-old says it helped his development as a professional footballer.
“When I was 17 I joined Southend United on loan and it was my first real experience of men’s football, Phil Brown was my manager and I managed to get my first couple of goals at the club,” he said.
“My goals actually came in the EFL Trophy and I remember it like it was yesterday, you never forget those times and that competition was really good for me.
“It aided my development as a player, it gave me that chance to play football and when I did return to Fulham, I was thrown into the first team quite quickly.
The forward, who scored 19 goals in all competitions last season, added: “This competition is a chance for younger players to showcase their talents, it is also an opportunity that could help you push for a permanent place within the manager’s starting XI.
“When I first arrived at Southend I wasn’t on the teamsheet regularly; I scored two goals against Dagenham & Redbridge, and from that I got a good run of games there.
“I played in it for Barnsley last season, we ended up going out to Manchester City U21 and they were a really good team. You can see that, with those opportunities, the players at academies will have bright futures.”