The Gills will face West Bromwich Albion's Academy, Millwall and Luton Town in the group stage of the EFL Trophy.

Of the Category One sides, Justin Edinburgh's team will travel to the Hawthorns to face West Brom's Academy in the week commencing Monday, November 7. The other two group games see the Gills host Luton Town in the week commencing Monday, August 29 and then travel to Millwall week commencing Monday, October 3.

A total of 64 clubs will compete in the competition, beginning with 16 groups of four teams, each of which will include at least one club from each of Leagues One and Two, along with one invited team. Teams will play each other once, either home or away, and the top two sides from each group will then go into a knockout stage. The Trophy will culminate in a showpiece final at Wembley Stadium on April 2.

The new-look competition will also have an enhanced prize fund with an expected £1.95m being up for grabs, including £10,000 per win and £5,000 per draw during the Group Stage and £100,000 for the eventual winner.

The following Category One sides will play in the 2016/17 EFL Trophy:

Leicester City, Southampton, West Ham United, Stoke City, Chelsea, Everton, Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby County, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Reading.


Competition format


- 48 clubs from League One & Two.

- 16 invited Category One Academy teams.

Eligibility Criteria:

- EFL Clubs – a minimum of five first-team players in the starting 11 as defined under the competition’s existing rules.

- Invited Clubs – six of the starting 11 to be U21 (as of June 30, 2016).

Group Stage:

- 16 groups of four teams organised on a regionalised basis.

- Groups to include one invited club and at least one club from each of Leagues One & Two.

- Clubs to play each other once, either home or away. Invited clubs will play one home game at the club’s first team stadium.

- Clubs will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw. In the event of a drawn game (after 90 minutes), a penalty shootout will be held with the winning team earning an additional point.

- The top two teams will progress to the Knockout Stage.

Knockout Stage:

- Round two (32 teams) will remain regionalised with each group winner being drawn at home to a second placed team from a different qualifying group.

- Round three (16 teams) and round four (eight teams) will be free draws (no geographical seeding).

- Semi-finals (four teams) will be a 'free’ draw and will consist of single ties played at the stadium of the club drawn first in each tie.

- If scores are level after 90 minutes in rounds two, three and four, the game will be determined by the taking of penalties. The EFL will confirm arrangements for the Semi-Finals and Final in due course following further consultation.

Key Dates

- Group Stage

    - w/c August 29 2016

    - w/c October 3 2016

    - w/c November 7 2016

- Round 2 - w/c December 5 2016

- Round 3 - w/c January 9 2017

- Round 4 - w/c January 23 2017

- Semi- Final - w/c February 20 2017

- Final - April 2 2017 (Wembley Stadium) 

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