Date: 28th July 2016 at 12:02pm
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With news yesterday that Brighton were one of the 16 Category One Academies invited to this year’s EFL Trophy trial, Under 23 coach Simon Rusk has spoken of his delight at the invite and what it will mean for our youngsters to be taking part in the professional competition.

For those not aware, this season’s EFL Trophy is the old Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and with changes to allow the 16 Academy sides into the competition, the draw sees Brighton face Southend United, Stevenage and Leyton Orient in Group G before hoping progressing through to the knockout stages of the tournament with a potential Wembley prize and appearance at stake.

Compared to last season’s Under 21 league set up, this obviously means an increase in intensity and quality for the youngsters.

Speaking to the Official Site following yesterday’s confirmation, Rusk explained.

‘I`m very pleased to be entering this competition, as it gives our lads the chance to test themselves against League One and League Two opposition. It can only improve their overall development as they look to break into the first team.’

The competition will be north/south split all the way through the tournament as is usual, and Brighton can field three outfield overage players should they wish, along with an overage goalkeeper.

Each club will play each other once, with Albion set to have just one home game in the group stages.

All the knock-out stages will consist of one-off games, bar the semi-finals which will be two-legged affairs.

Southern Group G:
Match Day 1 – w/c 29th August 2016
Southend United v Brighton & Hove Albion
Leyton Orient v Stevenage

Match Day 2 – w/c 3rd October 2016
Stevenage v Brighton & Hove Albion
Southend United v Leyton Orient

Match Day 3 – w/c 7th November 2016
Stevenage v Southend United
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leyton Orient

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