– Advertisement – Image:A crowd of 85,021 watched Portsmouth beat Sunderland in the 2018-19 EFL Trophy final at Wembley The final, as always, will be held at Wembley Stadium on March 14, 2021. 1:19 Key datesEFL Trophy Matchday Three – Nov 10/11Round of 32 – Dec 8/9Round of 16 – Jan 12/13Quarter-finals – Feb 2/3Semi-Finals – Feb 16/17EFL Trophy Final – March 14 The group phase starts off with 48 clubs from League One and League Two, as well as 16 teams invited from both the Premier League and Championship with ‘Category One’ academies.Why has not every top-flight club entered an academy team though?Four Premier League clubs with ‘Category One’ academies did not take part this season – Burnley and Crystal Palace, both in their first full season of ‘Category One’ status, and Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, who both played in the previous year’s competition, but decided not to participate in this one.A fifth Premier League club’s academy, Sheffield United, does not have ‘Category One’ status, meaning the Norwich City academy was asked to take their place this season.OK, so what about the format? Correct, the EFL Trophy was sponsored by Leasing.com last season after the car leasing company had initially agreed a three-year deal to sponsor the competition last August.However, the competition was rebranded as the ‘Papa John’s Trophy’ in October after the EFL agreed a new lucrative three-year sponsorship deal with the takeaway pizza company.“The exclusive partnership, which will run until at least the end of the 2022/23 season, sees the competition become known as the ‘Papa John’s Trophy’ with immediate effect,” said the EFL when announcing the agreement on its official website last month.- Advertisement – Manchester United greats Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs were in attendance as their former side’s U21s thrashed the club they co-own 6-0 in the EFL Trophy – Advertisement – “In addition to the title sponsorship, Papa John’s will also be the Official Pizza of the EFL.”Meanwhile, EFL chief commercial officer, Ben Wright, said of the new partnership: “The EFL is delighted to welcome Papa John’s as title sponsor of the EFL Trophy and a new addition to the League’s portfolio of partners.“As we continue to navigate through the challenging times that the coronavirus pandemic presents, it is testament to the growing appeal of the EFL that we are able to attract new partners and invest the sponsorship fee into the competition through payments to clubs, which is important during this difficult period.”Right, so who’s taking part then? However, last season’s final – featuring holders Portsmouth and Salford City – has yet to take place, with the Wembley showpiece postponed following the coronavirus outbreak in March.Where can I see all the action?You can see highlights from this week’s group games – and the rest of the competition – on Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app and the website on Wednesday morning. Highlights from AFC Wimbledon’s EFL Trophy win over Charlton and Fleetwood’s victory at Carlisle earlier this season Image:Manchester United U21s eased past Salford City 6-0 in their EFL Trophy group stage clash in Sept If you are a fan of a particular Premier League club, then you will almost certainly recognise a number of the youngsters on display.For example, the likes of Caoimhin Kelleher, Sepp van den Berg and Ben Woodburn have all featured for Liverpool in this season’s competition, while exciting forward Liam Delap has lined up for Manchester City.When is the final? The EFL Trophy, now known as the Papa John’s Trophy, returns to action with more group-stage matches on Tuesday night. Unsure about the exact format of the competition? Well, not to worry as we explain it all to you here…So, what is the Papa John’s Trophy?It is the English Football League [EFL] Trophy featuring clubs from League One and League Two, as well ‘Academy teams’ – with Category One status – from both the Premier League and Championship.Hang on, was it not known as the Leasing.com Trophy last season?- Advertisement – 1:44 It is a midweek knockout cup competition featuring a group stage consisting of 16 regional groups of four teams that runs between September and November.The groups are made up of one invited ‘Category One’ side, with the rest consisting of EFL Clubs from either League One or League Two, with fixtures done on a regionalised basis until the quarter-finals.Everyone plays each other once, either home or away, although academy sides play all their group matches away from home. And if the game ends in a draw after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout is then held, with the winning team earning an additional point.The top two from each group will then progress to the knockout stage of the competition, which gets underway in December and is also drawn on a regionalised basis.And which players are eligible to compete?EFL clubs must have at least four ‘qualifying’ outfield players in their line-ups, with such a player meeting these requirements:Any player who started the previous or following first-team fixtureAny player who is in the top 10 players at the club who have made the most starting appearances in league and domestic cup competitions that seasonAny player with 40 or more first-team appearances in their careerAny player on loan from a Premier League club or any EFL ‘Category One’ academy clubA club can play any eligible goalkeeper in the competitionAre there any academy players I may recognise?
(AFP) – Ben Stokes starred in all departments as England began their quest to win the World Cup with a 104-run thrashing of South Africa in the tournament opener at The Oval yesterday.The all-rounder top-scored with 89 in England’s 311-8, held a brilliant catch in the outfield and took 2-12, including the last wicket, as England won with 61 balls left.Jofra Archer did the early damage with the ball, the fast bowler taking 3-27 in seven overs.Jofra Archer was quick to make an impact. (Getty)Barbados-born Archer, who only qualified for England in March, made his presence felt even before he had taken a wicket with a bouncer that beat Hashim Amla for pace and crashed into the grille of the helmet, with the veteran opener retiring hurt on five.Archer then reduced the Proteas to 44-2.Aiden Markram edged to Joe Root at slip and South Africa captain Faf du Plessis fell for just five when he top-edged a hook to long leg.But Quinton de Kock kept the Proteas in the hunt, although the opener was lucky when on 25 he played a ball from leg-spinner Adil Rashid onto his stumps only for the bails to stay put. The dashing left-hander went on to complete a 58-ball fifty but holed out off fast bowler Liam Plunkett for 68.Rassie van der Dussen then made exactly 50 without pressing on when he miscued Archer to mid-on.His exit saw Amla return with South Africa struggling at 167-6 in the 32nd over.The game was all but up for South Africa when a back-pedalling and diving Stokes held a brilliant one-handed catch in the deep to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo.Amla’s brave effort to rescue the innings ended on 13 when he was caught behind off Plunkett’s slower-ball bouncer and Stokes finished the match when Imran Tahir edged him to Root.Stokes was one of four England batsmen who got to 50 on a tricky surface, with captain Eoin Morgan (57), Jason Roy (54) and Root (51) all out soon after reaching the landmark.England lost a wicket second ball before Roy and Root shared a stand of 106 that was equalled by Morgan and Stokes.du Plessis opted to field despite being without injured spearhead Dale Steyn and took the unorthodox decision to give leg-spinner Tahir the first over. The 40-year-old, the oldest player in the tournament, struck second ball when Jonny Bairstow was caught behind by de Kock for a golden duck.Roy and Root repaired the damage but were dismissed when well set as England lost two wickets for four runs in four balls to be 111-3.Morgan, whose aggressive approach has been symbolic of England’s rise to the top of the one-day international rankings after their woeful first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup, struck the match’s first two sixes off successive balls from Lungi Ngidi before he too was caught in the deep.Left-hander Stokes saw his 79-ball knock end in the penultimate over when caught at third man following a reverse hit off paceman Ngidi (66-3).
Syracuse’s Miranda Ramirez sent her opponent, Georgia Tech’s Rasheeda McAdoo, back and forth along the baseline. Each point seemed to end with a Ramirez winner that McAdoo couldn’t quite reach. McAdoo consistently blazed the same trail down the endline as she inevitably failed to catch up to a cross court shot from Ramirez.“I could tell that when she was on the run, she had a tendency to either make more errors or give me more opportunities,” Ramirez said. “So, I just tried to take advantage of that.”Ramirez and her strong baseline play resulted in her tenth straight singles win, 6-4, 6-4, and brought her to 11-1 on the season. But the Ramirez win was not enough for Syracuse (5-8, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) on Sunday to overcome No. 6 Georgia Tech (17-2, 7-0), though, as the Yellow Jackets won, 4-3.The freshman Ramirez faced a tough challenge in her debut at SU’s top singles spot against Georgia Tech’s highest ranked player, No. 46 McAdoo. Their styles clashed.McAdoo played with power. The senior’s serves sizzled, and her hits from any point on the court were strong. Ramirez played with finesse. She seemed content to wait along her baseline and return any slams that McAdoo offered. In focusing on placement rather than power, Ramirez succeeded in outlasting McAdoo.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRamirez went through the whole match without changing the blank expression on her face. On the other side, McAdoo jawed at the ref on multiple occasions. McAdoo consistently seemed frustrated as she looked at the ceiling or stared at her feet when she couldn’t reach a deep baseline shot following long rallies. Ramirez stayed stoic as ever, regardless of the outcome of an individual point.“It’s more about the process than about the end result,” Ramirez said. “As long as I keep focusing on what I’m doing the same in the moment, then the result will come after.”Ramirez lost a tight doubles match with her partner, Gabriela Knutson. The pair lost to Georgia Tech’s No. 113 Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones, 7-6 (7-3). Both Knutson and Ramirez felt they played well in doubles, and agreed that it didn’t hold them back heading into singles, where they both won.“(Ramirez) has the right attitude,” head coach Younes Limam said. “She works extremely hard at every single practice. Hopefully she will keep at it and keep improving, because that’s our main goal is to keep getting better every day.”Ramirez will just continue to do what has worked ten times in a row: Trust her process and calmly hit baseline winners. Comments Published on March 26, 2017 at 5:10 pm Contact Billy: email@example.com | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+
Sinn Féin’s Seanad referendum campaign director Pearse Doherty has said today’s poll showing the referendum to abolish the Seanad is set to be passed is evidence that people don’t believe Fianna Fáil when they say they will reform the Seanad. Pearse DohertyDeputy Doherty said the people have had enough of Fianna Fáil’s cronyism and their broken promises.He said “While not putting too much heed in opinion polls the continuing trend in this referendum campaign is that the yes side is leading and the referendum will pass. “This is despite Fianna Fáil’s attempt to hoodwink the people into keeping this Seanad on a promise that they will reform it.“However, even when they published their reform proposals we seen that they wanted to retain the most undemocratic measure contained within the current Seanad set up, the process of appointing people to the Seanad with the consent of the electorate.“The bottom line is that the people haven’t believed Fianna Fáil in this campaign, they are sick of their cronyism and their broken promises and this Friday they will come out and vote to abolish the Seanad.“With that said, it is important that people don’t get complacent and I would urge everyone to come out and vote on Friday and to vote yes.” POLL SHOWS PEOPLE ARE NOT BELIEVING FIANNA FAIL – DOHERTY was last modified: September 30th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Pearse DohertyreferendumSeanad