Town to face Colchester and Gillingham in EFL Trophy
PUBLISHED: 14:21 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56 09 July 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town have been drawn against Colchester United and Gillingham in Group A of the EFL Trophy.
The final member of that regionalised group - a Premier League/Championship Under-23 outfit - will be revealed on Friday lunchtime (12.30pm on talkSPORT).
Sixteen Category One academy sides have been invited to take part in the competition, eight of whom - Arsenal, Brighton, Chelsea, Fulham, Norwich, Southampton, Tottenham and West Ham - will be in the southern half of the draw.
It's highly unlikely the Blues will face Norwich given that last season the EFL decided to prevent 'high profile clashes' in the group stages - Newcastle v Sunderland and Southampton v Portsmouth - following consultation with the police.
Academy sides have to play all of their three group games away from home.
Gillingham were in a group with Tottenham last season, while Colchester were in a group with Southampton.
The Gills, now managed by Steve Evans, finished 13th in League One last season. Town have since signed their goalkeeper Tomas Holy on a Bosman free transfer.
Colchester, managed by former Town defender John McGreal, just missed out on a League Two play-off place and have seen key men Frankie Kent and Sammie Szmodics depart this summer.
Town are playing in the competition - open to League One and Two clubs - for the first time ever following relegation to the third-tier.
The first round of fixtures, all of which take place on midweek nights, are due to take place in the week commencing September 2.
In the group stage of the competition, clubs are awarded three points for a win, and one point for a draw, like in their respective leagues.
However, when a game in the EFL Trophy finishes in a draw after 90 minutes, the two sides will compete in a penalty shootout, with an additional point on offer for the winners.
The top two teams in each group progresses to the knockout stages, which remain regionalised until the quarter-finals.
All games are one-off ties, which will be decided by penalties if the score is level after 90 minutes, with no extra-time. However, the final will go to extra-time and penalties if required.
Portsmouth beat Sunderland in the 2019 final in front of more than 85,000 people at Wembley.