Free admission at Kingsmeadow for Under-18’s at the Premier League Under-21 Cup
This season sees the launch of the Premier League’s new Under-21 Cup, a knockout tournament designed specifically to give club’s development squads a taste of competitive football.
51 Premier League and Football League clubs have opted to take part in the inaugural competition, including the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle United and all fixtures will be played at the club’s respective first team stadiums.
As Football League members, Gillingham were given Category Three status at the recent Qualifying Round draw and have been given an away tie at AFC Wimbledon, which will be played at the Dons Kingsmeadow ground tomorrow night (Tuesday 1 October, kick-off 7.00pm).
Development boss Mark Patterson says he and the rest of the squad are looking forward to the fixture, and is expecting a tough game against a side he knows well.
He said: “It’s a different kind of competition for them tomorrow night and for some of them it’s the first competition they have played in since the Youth Cup and they all loved that process and the edge it gave them.
“They are looking forward to it – it will be an evening match which always has something special.
“You can play three outfield players over the age of 21 and an outfield goalkeeper over the age of 21. In effect you can play anybody you want but you can only play three who are not classed as your under 21 category and below.
“It’s a case of who needs to play a game; it’s a reserve fixture in effect.
“I think we know what to expect and they know what to expect from us because we play each other, we are relatively close, we know a lot about them and we played them at first team level last season.
“It could be a completely different set of players than who we’ve played against previously but it’s nice to be in the competitive edge again.
“Our game was called off last week so we have had a two week break and our main focus is to do our jobs collectively and properly.”
As for team news the likes of George Howard, Ashley Miller and Josh Hare are all likely to be involved with Devante McKain also available for selection.
Stephen Butcher may also get a run out having featured for the first team against Colchester earlier in the season.
If you want to follow the Gills to AFC Wimbledon, prices for the fixture are:
Adults - £5.00
Under-18’s – Free
The prize awaiting the winners of the tie will be an away fixture against Queens Park Rangers Under-21’s at Loftus Road.