Everton's Fixtures in the Checkatrade Trophy confirmed

Thursday, 13 September, 2018 27comments  |  Jump to last

UPDATED: Everton have confirmed the dates for their three games in Group F of the Checkatrade Trophy:

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018: Bradford City (A) [League One] at the Northern Commercial Stadium
  • Tuesday, 30 October 2018: Oldham Athletic (A) [League Two] at Boundary Park
  • Tuesday, 6 November 2018: Barnsley (A) [League One] At Oakwell

It is the third season that the competition has invited Category One Development teams to participate following a successful trial in 2016-17 and 2017-18. In total, 16 Development teams from Premier League and Championship clubs join the 48 club sides from League One and League Two, split into 16 regionalised groups of four, with one Development side in each group.

These are not games against so-called development, U23 or Reserves sides. They are played against the first teams of the lower league clubs at their primary stadiums. And for that reason, they are considered by the FA and/or Football League as full senior fixtures. Development teams are required to field a minimum of six Under-21 players in their starting eleven, while Football League clubs must field a certain number of first team players.

Strictly speaking, that means the appearances in these games by Everton's youngsters go on their record as full or senior appearances for Everton FC. But Everton don't have a great record in this competition — they have failed to get beyond the group stage in each of the preceding seasons.


Reader Comments (27)

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Kevin Prytherch
1 Posted 13/09/2018 at 16:59:52
I like this competition. It gives the likes of Hornby the chance to play against decent opposition without going on loan.

Now where’s Victor crying out for Davies to play because it’s his level!!!!

Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 13/09/2018 at 17:40:20
Sorry, Kevin, but it's rumoured Victor has been called in to discuss the raffle to raise funds for the new ground.

I'm not sure how this is supposed to work but it seems that we have to field a team comprised of half U23s and half U21s? Might as well have a Cup competition with those knocked out of the League (Carabao?) Cup at the first round.

Steve Ferns
3 Posted 13/09/2018 at 17:56:44
Here's an idea, why don't we play by the rules and send a number of fringe players to play in this game, especially the likes of Kenny and Dowell?
Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:06:13
I think that is what I said, Steve, but isn't it supposed to give more competitive games to those not in the 1st team squad or on loan, or why else does the starting eleven have to include a minimum of 6 U-21 players? As you say, never mind the spirit, play to the rules.
Steve Ferns
5 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:09:15
Alan, I mean players like Kenny and Dowell who are not actually playing for the U23s. First team players. I took what you said to be actual U23 players.

There's a good 5/6 first team players, who won't actually get a Premier League game unless we have a concentrated injury crisis. So why not let them play? It'd be nice to take this trophy seriously and give these lads some silverware. Winning breeds winning.

Alan J Thompson
6 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:20:24
Now come on, Steve. What about all our half-dozen U20 World Cup winners for both England & Portugal. Winning this might just be what attracts juniors from all over, possibly including Skem.
Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:20:57
Checkatrade Trophy?


Sounds like an award for the best player agent.

If you drop it at the presentation, does that make it the Bounced Checkatrade Trophy?

Ah, well, I suppose it's a better name than the Filipino Water Buffalo Energy Drink League Cup.

Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:25:01
Not known as the FBED Cup, I hope, Mike.
Steve Ferns
9 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:26:10
It's games though, Mike. Dowell isn't going on loan. If he plays in this and does something, maybe he can find his way into the first team? Why not play the lads who didn't play in the last game and aren't playing in the next?
Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:36:20
I agree with Steve. In the past, Unsie has rolled out a mix of U18 players and a few old dead beats like Darron Gibson for this. Why not put out a team like with Dowell, Kenny, Lookman, Baningime, etc?
Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:44:40
Jonjoe Kenny, for one, will be busy trying to cement a regular place in the first team over the next couple of months.
Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:47:00
Dave 11,

True but assuming Coleman is back and in the side, why not give the lad a run out on Wednesday night between his bench-warming duties on the Saturdays?

Ray Roche
13 Posted 13/09/2018 at 18:54:36
I wouldn't imagine Coleman being fit for several weeks.

I wouldn't risk Jonjoe Kenny with our luck right now. He'll be needed.

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 13/09/2018 at 19:10:20
Steve, love the games, hate the names, what can I say?

I laughed when I found out what a Carabao was -- does the trophy have horns and a tail? -- and I gotta laugh again at this one. Can't wait for the acceptance speech for the legendary Checkatrade.

Reminds me of the race driver a couple of years ago who won the SpongeBob SquarePants 400. Did a TV interview holding the trophy, or rather he tried... couldn't get through it without cracking up.

Steve Ferns
15 Posted 13/09/2018 at 19:39:52
Mike, the annoying Checkatrade ads (here in the UK) numb you to the name. On talkSPORT every 15 minutes, everyday for years.

Plus something is lost in translation as 'check' means to re-examine.

In English, 'cheque' is what you refer to as 'check' in 'Merican.

Phil Greenough
16 Posted 13/09/2018 at 20:10:08
Mike, are you getting confused with a Caribou?
Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 13/09/2018 at 20:41:28
Steve, y'all still spell it with a Q? I thought that had been modernized. Does your computer have spellcheque?

Phil, interesting coincidence on the names, but a carabao is a water buffalo. National animal of the Philippines. (Don't ask me how I know this, I just do.) The energy drink that sponsors the Cup uses it as a symbol.

Phil Greenough
18 Posted 13/09/2018 at 20:57:21
Sorry, Mike, I stand corrected. I googled it twice to make sure, that never came up. You live and learn.
Mike Allison
19 Posted 13/09/2018 at 21:37:17
I agree with Steve’s general point about playing the strongest team possible from players who aren’t getting games, but don’t we have an injury crisis already? We’re looking at as many as 9 unavailable on Sunday.
John Raftery
20 Posted 13/09/2018 at 23:52:05
This competition is detested by most of the fans of League One and League Two clubs. Their clubs usually field weakened teams, many of the games attract less than a thousand spectators and the involvement of Premier League Under 21 teams has done nothing to improve the competition’s status. The three matches we played last season, all away from home, attracted an aggregate atttendance of less than 7000.
Michael Kenrick
21 Posted 14/09/2018 at 01:13:23
I'm glad you raised that issue, John. I was aware of some ill-feeling — I'm guessing the EFL clubs are basically insulted having to play against kids from the big-shot Premier League clubs.

Funny coz in a way it follows the continental idea of having fully fledged B-teams playing in the lower leagues, which has been touted as a way for the top clubs to bridge the gapping chasm between 'development' footie and the Real Thing in the Premier League.

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 14/09/2018 at 01:35:44
Exactly Michael. It's best for Everton that we have a B team in the Football League. However, that would be very bad for the English game as a whole.
Mike Allison
23 Posted 14/09/2018 at 09:02:03
Greg Dyke was chairman of the FA between 2013-2016 and was involved in putting in place a lot of the things that are taking root around the England national team. The concept of ‘England DNA', and that there would be a set of core values and attributes developed at all levels, came out of this and can be credited with helping England's u20 & u17 teams win their respective tournaments recently.

He also floated the idea of inserting a division between Leagues 1 & 2 that would consist of Premier League ‘B' sides at first, then I believe the plan was to allow natural promotion and relegation. The lower league clubs didn't like it, but this situation with the Checkatrade Trophy is the compromise that resulted.

I wonder if there is some kind of way round this. Could Everton, or an indirectly associated company, invest in a lower league or conference side and use it as a feeder club? The fact that no-one has done this yet suggests it is extremely problematic as it seems exactly the kind of thing Man City and Chelsea would have liked to help with their ‘player hoarding' policies.

As Steve says, it would be very good for Everton to have a second squad of young players playing regular, competitive football where the people in the stadium care passionately about the result. However, English football has no tradition of this, and a strong tradition of ‘minor' clubs with small but passionately loyal fanbases.

I think this Checkatrade Trophy situation is still seen by the FA as a kind of ‘trial' or ‘first step' toward a ‘B' team system, but I don't think it is going well if the aim is to introduce them into the league system.

Phill Thompson
24 Posted 14/09/2018 at 09:21:01
The big problem with this competition is that we are not ALLOWED to take it seriously, so we have never done so, with a mixture of Under-18s, Under-23s, and returning first-teamers playing. I say 'allowed', because the fixtures will take place in the next international break. So our 5 England U21s: Hornby, Charsley, Lavery, Virginia, Ryan Astley and any others I've missed, will likely be on international duty.

So it's no wonder fans don't turn up too, all they'll likely see is an understrength Everton, maybe some promising youngsters if they are lucky.

Michael Kenrick
25 Posted 14/09/2018 at 16:23:30
Great post, Mike (#23) — much more beef than I could rustle up!

I don't quite get your point, Phill (#24) — how can all three midweek fixtures be compromised by an International break?

You may not be saying this exactly but, in the context of what Mike is saying, Everton (and all the other 16 Category A Development teams) playing understrength sides (ie, not their first teams) is intrinsic to the set-up of the competition. The age restrictions seem appropriate for giving younger players on the fringe a real taste of fully competitive play in amongst a mix of older players.

Perhaps the dice are loaded, however, by the Development sides always playing away? I think Mike nailed the real problem: novelty vs tradition. Fans and lower league clubs just don't like it.

Mike Allison
26 Posted 14/09/2018 at 20:32:34
I think in the first season all the Checkatrade games were in international breaks, which meant not only were we playing an U21 (or U23 – I'm still confused about that) side but an understrength U21 side as the best players were away playing age group international football.

Last season, the aim was to avoid that (I'm not sure if they managed it) and I haven't checked the schedule next month but I'm sure only one of them could be.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
27 Posted 19/09/2018 at 14:50:42
Anyone reading this thread previously, please note the club have announced new dates for two of the three games, as updated in the original article.

The first game is now next Tuesday in Bradford.

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