Leeds United set to learn fixture fate live on Sky in third crack at competition

Leeds United will learn their Papa John's Trophy group opponents in a live televised draw on Thursday.

By Graham Smyth
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:50 pm

The YEP understands that the Whites will be revealed as one of the 16 invited 'under 21' teams who will be drawn into their respective Northern and Southern section groups. The 48 football league clubs have already been placed into predetermined groups prior to the draw and the EFL insist that consideration has been given to minimising travel time and maximising recovery for players.

All EFL clubs will play two of their three group matches at home, with the opening fixtures to take place in the week commencing August 29.

Sky Sports News will televise the draw at 11.30am on Thursday.

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This will be Leeds' third season as an invited club in the competition formerly that began as the Associate Members' Cup in 1983.

A young Leeds side failed to escape the group stages last season, losing 4-1 to Tranmere Rovers and 5-3 at Salford City to go out of the competition on goal difference. A side that included Under 23s regulars Kristoffer Klaesson, Crysencio Summerville, Leo Hjelde, Lewis Bate, Sean McGurk and Max Dean did, however, overcome Oldham Athletic 3-2 away from home. Leeds' participation in the trophy did yield the memorable and historic moment when 15-year-old Archie Gray set up Amari Miller with a slick turn and through ball, becoming the youngest player in the competition's history to provide an assist.

In the 2020/21 season which brought the Whites 21s' first involvement in the competition they were also ousted at the group stage, losing all three of their games to Accrington Stanley, Barrow and Blackpool.

HISTORY BOY - Leeds United's Archie Gray became the youngest player to record an assist in the EFL Trophy in a game at Tranmere last season. Pic: Getty