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Papa Johns Trophy

Papa John's Trophy "a brilliant competition," says Cowley

18 January 2021

Former Lincoln City and Huddersfield Town manager, Danny Cowley, believes the Papa John's Trophy offers benefits for Clubs, managers, players and fans alike, having lifted the Trophy himself with the Imps in 2018.

Cowley led Lincoln to a first-ever piece of silverware by masterminding a 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town under the famous arch, and has since watched on closely, both as a manager and pundit.

Speaking exclusively to the EFL following the conclusion of this season's Round Three ties, Cowley says there are many plus points when it comes to the Papa John's Trophy.

"It's a brilliant competition and one I love," he said. "It gave us our first opportunity to go to Wembley. The club, in its 133-year existence at the time, had never been to Wembley before, so it was a really big moment for everyone associated with Lincoln. 

"I was so pleased for everyone at the club, especially the older fans who had supported the club their whole lives but had never been to Wembley to watch their team. We created a lot of new supporters on the back of that trip too.

"Ultimately, you look at the competition and managers have approached games in different ways. We've always targeted the cup competitions because I believe the next game is the most important, and winning is a habit. 

"Football is about winning and looking at every competition you're in. The Papa John's Trophy, for any League One or League Two club, gives a realistic chance of not only getting to Wembley, but also winning silverware."

While the opportunity to lift a Trophy is clear, Cowley also discussed the benefits for players, particularly those rising through the ranks, with the competition regularly giving the next generation of stars a platform to shine.

"We like the Under-21 sides being in the competition," he added."It's a great opportunity for the big Clubs to play some of their younger players  in a competitive game, and it's great for the League One and League Two Clubs and their younger players too.

"I loved being a part of the competition, not only being involved in it as a manager but scouting and seeing players in a competitive environment. It gives you real context as to where those players are when you're looking at recruitment. 

"We often look at these games in the Papa John's Trophy as it's now known and use those games to give us a benchmark for players. We feel we owe a lot to this competition."

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