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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

EFL rejects accusation its policy on young footballers has 'confused' clubs

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey.

The English Football League (EFL) has denied it is sending out a "mixed message" about the promotion of young players after Luton chief executive Gary Sweet said clubs were "confused."

Clubs have been fined for not playing full-strength sides in the EFL Trophy, but rewarded for naming young players in league games.

Championship, League One and League Two teams receive a payment from the EFL Futures programme every time a player aged under 21, who qualifies to play for England (or Wales for Welsh...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Terminally ill Rochdale fan given Football League accolade

Rochdale have said they will do whatever they can to help Joshua McCormack and his family.

The English Football League (EFL) has named terminally ill Rochdale fan Joshua McCormack as its honorary player of the month.

The five-year-old, who has a brain tumour, was named on the Rochdale bench for the Checkatrade Trophy match against Hartlepool United on Wednesday.

He was unable to attend the match because of his illness, but the club put his name on the team sheet while his No. 55 shirt hung in the dressing room and was displayed on the bench.

Last week, Rochdale manager Keith Hill and...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rochdale to name five-year-old supporter on substitutes' bench

Rochdale manager Keith Hill
Keith Hill will lead Rochdale against Hartlepool with an unusual name on the subs bench.

Rochdale will name five-year-old fan Joshua McCormack on their substitutes' bench for the Checkatrade Trophy match against Hartlepool United on Wednesday evening.

McCormack is suffering from a terminal brain tumour and will not attend the game due to his condition but his name will appear on the team sheet and his No. 55 shirt will hang in the dressing room pregame and be displayed on the bench.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill and his squad will visit McCormack at the hospice which cares for him on...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Checkatrade Trophy games attracts record low crowds

 A general view of Sixfields Stadium  during the EFL Checkatrade Trophy match between Northampton Town and West Ham United.
Northampton Town set a club-low attendance record against West Ham United.

At least 16 of Tuesday's 24 games in the Checkatrade Trophy drew attendances of less than 1,000 and only Chelsea and Luton drew more than 1,500.

The competition was revamped before 2016-17 in order for 16 under-23 sides to participate alongside the usual entrants from League One and League Two, but several high-profile teams, including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United, declined meaning the invite was extended to sides with a Category One academys outside the Premier League.

Northampton's...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Chelsea and Oxford break longest penalty shootout record in England

Chelsea celebrate after finally winning in the 16th round of penalties.

The record for the longest penalty shootout in England was broken on Tuesday as Chelsea's under-23 side defeated Oxford United after 34 total spot-kicks in the EFL Trophy.

Chelsea triumphed 13-12 after Oxford's Wes Thomas missed in the 17th round -- his second failed attempt of the shootout -- following a 1-1 game at Stamford Bridge.

Ola Aina and Josh Grant saw their penalties saved, while Marco van Ginkel and goalkeeper Bradley Collins missed the target. Collins made four saves to...