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It’s a big week for the EFL with the announcement being made on Wednesday morning (26th) of the fixture lists for the Championship, League One and League Two.
Bristol Street Motors

Bristol Street Motors Trophy Draw To Help Kick Start New EFL Season

Bristol Street Motors Trophy Draw To Help Kick Start New EFL Season

It’s a big week for the EFL with the announcement being made on Wednesday morning (26th) of the fixture lists for the Championship, League One and League Two.

That isn’t the only news coming this week however, with the first round draw for the Bristol Street Motors Trophy being made live on Sky Sports News at 14:30 on Thursday by former Sunderland boss Lee Johnson and ex-Sheffield United chief Paul Heckingbottom.

This will be the first full season in which Bristol Street Motors has held title sponsorship of the competition, with the relationship having kicked off mid-way through the group stage last year.

Peterborough United secured the title last season after a dramatic final against Wycombe Wanderers, with the game being decided in stoppage time after three goals in the final five minutes.

Ahead of the draw, here’s a quick recap on what the competition is all about...

When did it start?

The Trophy was introduced in 1981 as the Football League Group Cup to replace the Anglo-Scottish Cup; a short-lived competition that had been open to clubs from both the English and Scottish leagues.

Initially, the competition run on an invitational basis for clubs across the English leagues but from 1983, clubs from the top two divisions were no longer eligible to compete - resulting in the competition taking on a format similar to that seen today.

Over the years, various teams from outside the third and fourth tiers of the game have been part of the competition, with select non-league teams invited to compete for a period before the introduction of Academy outfits.

Who is competing in 2024/25?

As has been the case since 2016, a total of 64 teams will be in the draw for the first round of the competition, comprising of the 48 teams across League One and League Two, as well as 16 Category One academy teams.

Those academy teams must start at least six players who are aged 21 and under as of 30 June 2024, and only two players over the age of 21 to have made 40 or more appearances in a first team fixture.

The following teams will be in the draw when it takes place this week.


Barnsley Accrington Stanley Arsenal U21 
Birmingham City AFC Wimbledon  Aston Villa U21
Blackpool Barrow  Brighton & Hove Albion U21
Bolton Wanderers Bradford City  Chelsea U21
Bristol Rovers Bromley  Crystal Palace U21
Burton Albion Carlisle United  Everton U21
Cambridge United Cheltenham Town  Fulham U21
Charlton Athletic Chesterfield  Leicester City U21
Crawley Town Colchester United  Liverpool U21
Exeter City Crewe Alexandra  Manchester City U21
Huddersfield Town Doncaster Rovers  Manchester United U21
Leyton Orient Fleetwood Town Newcastle United U21 
Lincoln City Gillingham Nottingham Forest U21 
Mansfield Town Grimsby Town Tottenham Hotspur U21 
Northampton Town Harrogate Town West Ham United U21 
Peterborough United Milton Keynes Dons Wolverhampton Wanderers U21 
Reading Morecambe  
Rotherham United Newport County  
Shrewsbury Town Notts County  
Stevenage Port Vale  
Stockport County Salford City  
Wigan Athletic Swindon Town  
Wrexham Tranmere Rovers  
Wycombe Wanderers Walsall  

What is the format?

The 64 teams are split in half, with 32 teams going into the northern section and 32 teams going into the southern section for round one. The teams are then split again to make eight teams of four in each section, making 16 groups in total.

Each of those groups will comprise of three clubs from the EFL and one of the 16 academy teams, with teams playing each other once. Academy teams will play all three group stage games away from home.

As in league competition, teams are awarded three points for a win, with a draw worth one point and no points being handed out for a loss. In a change however, any group game that ends as a draw will go to penalty kicks, with the team winning the shootout being given an additional point.

At the end of the group stage, the top two teams from each group go through to the knockout stages, with goal difference and goals scored used in the event of a tie.

In the round of 32, the eight group winners in each section are drawn at home against a group runner up from the same section, with games being decided by penalties in the event of a draw after 90 minutes. Teams can't be drawn against a team from the same group.

For the round of 16 and the quarter finals, teams continue to compete on a regional basis but with no seeding in place, with the first opportunity for a team from the north to face a team from the south coming at the semi final stage.

The two semi final winners then progress to the final at Wembley Stadium, which is the only game in the competition that can go to extra time in the event of a draw after 90 minutes.

Who are the teams to watch?

Peterborough United will be looking to make history this season by becoming the first team to successfully defend the title that they won for the second time back in April.

However, Bolton Wanderers won the trophy in 2023 and will be keen to try and reclaim the crown, whilst 2022 winners Rotherham United return to the competition having been relegated from the Championship at the end of last season.

Other teams that will expect to be in the mix when it comes to the final stages include two-time winners Birmingham City as they return to the competition for the first time since claiming victory at Wembley back in 1995.

Wrexham’s Hollywood owners will have an eye on getting to a first final, whilst both Bradford City and Blackpool are looking to go one better than last year when they reached the semi-final stage.

Beaten 2024 finalists Wycombe Wanderers – who had a poor record in the competition prior to last season – will also hope for a Wembley return.

The newcomers to the competition this season will be Bromley, who compete in the Bristol Street Motors for the first time having been promoted from the National League into the EFL via the play offs.