(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
By Alex Beard
Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has no problems with academy teams participating in the Checkatrade Trophy, but he draws the line at their entry into the Football League.
The Imps will face Everton’s Under-21’s tomorrow night in the aforementioned Checkatrade competition, with a place in the knockout stages up for grabs for Cowley’s team.
Fans throughout the country have demonstrated their opposition to their team’s having to play academy outfits by boycotting games, with a section of Lincoln fans doing so this season.
However, Cowley welcomes the academy side’s presence in the competition: “I quite like it because, from a scouting point of view, I can see these young players against first team players. It’s good for making comparisons,” he told Lincolnshire Live.
“I definitely don’t want to see Under-23 or Under-21 squads playing in our leagues because that would devalue them.
“One of the great things about English football is our tradition and the strength in depth through the tiers.
“That is demonstrated at our club as we have 9,000 supporters at home games. But in this competition I think it freshens it up, personally I think it works.”
Cowley has admitted he will be shuffling his pack for the visit of Everton to Sincil Bank, with 16-year-old midfielder Ellis Chapman set for his senior debut.