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 By PA Sport

Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham to enter Checkatrade Trophy

Coventry City beat Oxford United to win the Checkatrade Trophy in 2017.
Coventry beat Oxford to win the Checkatrade Trophy in 2017.

Manchester City and Tottenham have accepted an invitation to enter their academy sides into the 2017-18 Checkatrade Trophy having turned down the opportunity last season.

They join Premier League champions Chelsea in agreeing to enter their under-23 teams alongside League One and League Two sides, a move which was implemented last year to mixed success.

Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have once again abstained from entering the tournament with only category one academies receiving an invite.

While...

Coventry City 2-1 Oxford United

Coventry CityCoventry City
Oxford UnitedOxford United
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Coventry put their crisis to one side to win the Checkatrade Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Oxford.

Gael Bigirimana grabbed a Wembley goal, hours after becoming a father, and academy graduate George Thomas struck in the second half for the Sky Blues.

Substitute Liam Sercombe pulled one back for Oxford but they were condemned to defeat in the final for the second year running.

Bigirimana's goal capped a memorable weekend for the 23-year-old after his wife Natalia gave birth to a baby girl in the early...

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...