Manchester United Academy Coach, Neil Wood, says his players can't wait for the chance to test themselves in the Leasing.com Trophy this evening.
United's Under-21s will face Sky Bet League One side Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium tonight, as the 2019/20 competition officially gets under way.
Speaking ahead of the game, and ahead of United's first involvement in the tournament, Wood said the experience will provide endless benefits to his squad.
"It's new and exciting for the players. It's a real competition, which is what they need. They're playing to win and that's what they need," he said.
"It's a competition we've wanted to enter and we've finally done that this season. It's a great opportunity for the young lads; we're looking forward to it as a club and as coaches, but the players are excited as well.
"We have to find a way to get them [younger players] exposed and these are challenging games. This competition allows them to get that exposure."
Wood is under no illusions about the challenge faced by his side against Rotherham, who are among the favourites to be promoted to the Sky Bet Championship this season, but insists United are raring to go.
"It's going to be a big test but that's what we want, we want to push them," he added.
"We're interested to see how they [the players] react and how they'll cope with it. The lads are looking forward to it, it's going to be a good experience for everyone.
"Manchester United have got a massive following and people are always excited to see who will be the next players coming through.
"I've watched some of Rotherham's pre-season games and their game at the weekend, and they'll be going for promotion this season. We're prepared and know what we're going into; we want to play our way."