Town react to the decision to keep the format the same
Next season’s Checkatrade Trophy is set to remain the same after 66% of EFL clubs voted to keep with the 64 team format.
The competition will have some changes next season, with Under-21 teams playing their games away from home and only four first-team players having to play in each game.
Town had voted for a return to the 48 team format, but CEO Brian Caldwell has accepted the changes and will now look to make the most of it.
“I’ve said before that we actually voted for the original 48 team format”, said Brian.
“66% of League One and League Two clubs actually voted for the existing format and I think partly that’s financially driven if I’m honest. We just have to accept that that is overwhelming support, so we’ve got to try and make a success of it.
“There’s lots of slight changes that hopefully will tweak it. They were talking about trying to make it more regionalised, but it’s not quite clear from the voting what they have decided to do on that.
“But, hopefully if it’s more regionalised and it’s better than us going to Scunthorpe and Middlesbrough then it will be a turning point.”
Town have had success in this competition in the past, reaching the final in 1996 and Town boss Paul Hurst told ShrewsWeb that he will be taking the competition seriously.
“I think the vote’s gone against what we decided as a club, but I think there are a few tweaks and amendments to it”, Hurst said.
“I’ve only had a quick glance at it, so I will digest that further as we go along, but what I would say is that I want to try and progress in it.
“I don’t know whether that was 100% the thought going into it this season. I think when I came in we had one game left and it was a dead rubber, but I’d like to try and progress.
“Location-wise and how they try and regionalise it is where I find a slight issue, as in there’s only a certain number of local clubs, so I’m not sure how that will work and located where we are it is probably a little bit more difficult for us to have local games, but that’s just something we’ve got to deal with when it comes.”
Hurst is a former winner of the competition with Rotherham and understands the impact a good run can have on a club.
“Many moons ago I went there as a 21 year old and won the competition with Rotherham”, said Paul.
“If someone said to me that that competition didn’t exist and I’d lost the opportunity to play at Wembley, I’d say ‘what are you doing?’ That’s something that will remain in my memory and my families forever.
“The prize is extremely big and you don’t really get a lot of teams taking it seriously until the latter stages, but if we can and we are in good shape I will be setting my stall out to progress and see if we could be the ones that get there.”