The draw for the group stage of the EFL Trophy is officially made on Friday, but being the EFL, a certain amount of cack-handedness has to come into it, and in fact most of the draw was sorted today.
Bolton have been handed a group involving Rochdale and Bradford, the former we’re already playing in the league and the first round of the League Cup. Also in the group will be one ‘invited team’ – an underage side from a top-flight academy, which is what will be drawn on Friday.
The group games will be played through the autumn, usually around international breaks, with one match against each team rather than a home and away basis.
It’s difficult to get excited for this competition, I don’t mind the group stage which dare I say it makes it a bit different from the other cup competitions, but the prospect of playing another club’s under-23 side is a bit demeaning. But if in the unlikely scenario that we went all the way to the final, it could still give us a day out at Wembley and a trophy. That’s not to be sniffed at.