Some exciting news for those of you following the latest and greatest youth prospects coming up through the academy: a new competition! The 2016/17 season will bring about a newly re-branded competition the English Football League Trophy, and with the new title comes a chance to shine for those under-21 players at England's top sides.
The competition was previously known as the Football League Trophy or the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, though it is unclear whether the current sponsorship will continue along with the re-branding effort. With the new academy sides, the field will expand from 48 teams to 64.
This year's rendition will kick off in August with 16 4-team groups to be drawn on a regional basis. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knock-out rounds. Although the report did not say explicitly, previous iterations of the competition had single leg knock out rounds, and it seems reasonable that this tradition would continue.
The winner of the competition will earn £1.9 million, including the £1 million chipped in by the Premier League. That's a good chunk of change for a lower-tier side, and nearly equals the £2 million purse for winning the FA Cup. In comparison, winning the League Cup comes with a paltry £100,000 prize.
Hopefully former Johnstone's Paint Trophy winner Adam Lallana can give some helpful advice to the Liverpool yutes.