Checkatrade Trophy explained

31 May 2017
Coventry City win 2016/17 Checkatrade Trophy

The Checkatrade Trophy, formally known at the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, is a knockout competition for clubs playing in League One and League Two and which has featured Academy teams from Premier League Category One clubs since 2016/17.

In 2016/17 there was a one-season trial proved successful. The competition features a total of 64 teams, made up of EFL League One and Two clubs, as well as 16 Category One Premier League academy sides.

The teams are split into 16 regional groups of four teams, of which the top two will progress to the knockout stages, with the final staged at Wembley Stadium.

The rules of the competition are as follows:

  • Six of the starting 11 for the Category One academy sides must be Under-21, as of 30 June 2017 
  • In May 2017 it was announced the EFL clubs will have greater flexibility with regard to team selection, while maintaining the principle that it's a first-team competition which supports the development and progression of young players
  • Groups to include one invited Category One Academy team and at least one club from each of Leagues One and Two
  • Clubs to play each other once.
  • The invited under-21 teams will play their group matches away from home
  • There will be regionalisation until the quarter-final stage to minimise overall travel time for clubs and fans
  • Clubs will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw, but in the event of a draw after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout will be played for an additional point

The competition began in 1983/84, with AFC Bournemouth the first winners.

Bristol City are the most successful side in the competition, winning it three times (1985/86, 2002/03, 2014/15) and losing two finals. 

Coventry City are the current holders, having beaten Oxford United 2-1 in front of a competition record crowd of 74,434 fans at Wembley Stadium.

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