Our development squad will take on the senior sides of Bristol Rovers, Oxford United and Walsall in the group stage of this season’s competition.

The EFL Trophy is in its fifth year with invited Academy teams involved alongside the 48 clubs from League one and League Two. The competition format remains unchanged from last term and teams face each other once in the regionalised group stage before the top two advance to the knockout round.

A Jon Russell injury-time strike at Plymouth was enough for the young Blues to make it out of the group stage last season. But the run came to an end at Walsall when a second-half comeback from the League One side secured their passage to the round of 16 in a five-goal thriller at Bescot Stadium.

Bristol Rovers also reached the round of 16 last season but defeat against Stevenage ended their cup run, while Oxford United were eliminated at the round of 32 stage last term.

We were drawn in the same group as The Gas last season and fell to a narrow defeat after Charlie Brown's opener was cancelled out by two home goals, while a convincing 3-0 win over Oxford United in the 2018/19 quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge was the last time we met The Us.

All group stage matches will be played away from home for the development squad and the competition for Andy Myers’ men gets underway during the week commencing 7 September with exact dates and information to be announced shortly.