Date published: Wednesday 27th July 2016 12:42
The draw for the group stage of the revamped English Football League Trophy took place on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
The Football League initially invited 16 category one academies to take part in the new-look tournament, which also includes 48 Sky Bet League One and League Two clubs.
Five of those asked to compete rejected the opportunity while some decided they would take part, with others drafted in as replacements. Here, we look at the teams who were invited and whether they opted in or out.
The Gunners are believed to be happy with the current number and quality of games being played by their academy side.
Having originally been expected to turn down the invitation, the Blues were included in the draw – with their original scepticism over fixture clashes believed to be resolved.
Everton confirmed their involvement earlier in July and will be one of the biggest names in the competition, starting in the northern Group A.
A big pull for the Football League as the reigning Premier League champions will be included. The Foxes had kept quiet about their decision but their academy will be involved.
Another blow for the tournament as Liverpool opted out of the event, with the availability of Anfield reported to be one of their concerns.
MANCHESTER CITY: OUT
The original scheduling of group-stage fixtures is believed to be why City decided to turn down the invitation.
MANCHESTER UNITED: OUT
Similar to Arsenal, United are reportedly happy with the current set-up for their academy players and so have also opted out.
The Premier League new boys have accepted, with their announcement made on July 12.
Relegated Newcastle were the only non-Premier League side of the original 16 clubs invited but claimed they were told at the outset they would not be offered a spot, and therefore rejected as they had already begun to make plans for their development squad.
Winners of the competition in 2010, Saints are likely to be one of the biggest attractions given the number of high-quality academy players they have produced in recent times.
Two-time winners of the competition in the past, Stoke confirmed their involvement earlier in the month.
The Black Cats’ involvement means new manager David Moyes will be able to keep a watchful eye over his younger players when they take part in Northern Group F.
The South Wales side see the tournament as a chance to pit their promising talent against the experienced professionals of League One and League Two.
Spurs are understood to prefer to see their young players allowed away on international duty rather than playing in the EFL Trophy.
WEST BROM: IN
Like Swansea, the Baggies see the inclusion of their academy side as a chance for their young players to improve and were always supportive of the idea.
WEST HAM: IN
The inclusion of the Hammers, who also have Europa League football to contend with, is another big attraction for the tournament,
The Canaries, relegated from the Premier League in 19th place last season, were the first club to be invited after the initial 16 had responded and they opted to take part.
ASTON VILLA: OUT
Like Norwich, Villa were relegated last season but unlike their Sky Bet Championship rivals, they declined the offer once it had been extended.
Another Championship side with a category-one academy, Brighton accepted the offer and will be in Southern Group G.
The Rams, who finished fifth in the Championship last season, were the next team to be invited after Brighton and also took the Football League up on their offer.
Unlike Brighton and Derby, Wolves were not involved in the play-offs last year as Kenny Jackett’s side finished 14th – but it was still good enough to earn them an invite to the EFL Trophy, which they accepted.
Finished three points and one place below Wolves in the Championship and were one of the last category-one sides invited, accepting their place in Northern Group D.
The Royals only announced on Tuesday their intention to be involved and they completed the 16 slots open to the category-one academy sides.