SAINTS B have been drawn into Group F of the Papa John’s EFL Trophy next season.

Dave Horseman’s young charges will face League One outfits Exeter City and Forest Green Rovers, alongside a trip to Wales to face League Two Newport County.

No dates have been confirmed as of yet, but opening ties will take place during the week commencing Monday, August 29.


Since the format of the competition was altered ahead of the 2016-17 campaign to allow 16 Premier League and Championship sides to enter under-21 teams, Saints have only one six games from a total of 19 games.

They have not advanced beyond the group stage since the 2016-17 season, where they were knocked out in the second round on penalties by Reading’s youth team.

Prior to the introduction of under-21 sides, Saints actually lifted the trophy whilst they were in League One.

A dominant display at Wembley saw Saint romp to a 4-1 win over Carlisle United in front of over 73,000 fans in March, 2010.

Part of the stipulation that allows youth teams to compete is that they must play all of their group fixtures away from home.

Another unusual caveat is that even during the group stage, if a game finishes level, it will be decided by penalties, with the winning side picking up two points, and the losing side one.

There is no extra time in the competition, until the final, where 30 minutes of extra-time will be played if scores are level after 90 minutes of action.


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