Neil Wood looks on during the training camp in Austria.

United discover EFL Trophy group opponents

Manchester United have been drawn in Group H of the northern section of the EFL Trophy after entering the competition for the first time.

Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham United and Lincoln City are to provide the opposition after United were the last club to come out of the hat during the draw, which was made live on Talksport.

The Reds, who are fielding a primarily Under-21 team, will play all three group games away from home as the 'invited team' in the pool.

Neil Wood is in charge of the team, with Quinton Fortune assisting and Head of Academy Nicky Butt overseeing things.

Paul Woolston and Largie Ramazani at the Austrian training camp in 2019.
Paul Woolston and Largie Ramazani are among the players who could benefit from the competition.

EFL TROPHY NORTHERN DRAW

Group A: Grimsby Town, Scunthorpe United, Sunderland, Leicester City.

Group B: Accrington Stanley, Oldham Athletic, Fleetwood Town, Liverpool.

Group C: Bury, Salford City, Tranmere Rovers, Aston Villa.

Group D: Port Vale, Shrewsbury, Macclesfield Town, Newcastle United.

Group E: Crewe Alexandra, Burton Albion, Mansfield Town, Everton.

Group F: Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City, Rochdale, Manchester City. 

Group G: Blackpool, Carlisle United, Morecambe, Wolves.

Group H: Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham United, Lincoln City, UNITED.

“It’s a new exciting challenge,” Wood told ManUtd.com. “We’ve not been in the competition before so it’s a new experience. We’ll be playing in stadiums, with a crowd there, and the expectation when United come to these grounds is always higher anyway.

“So we’ve got an atmosphere which is hard to recreate and it’s really challenging but exciting at the same time for the boys to be part of that. They’ll be playing against first-team players and, as it’s open-age, they'll be older players and it’s something they have to get used to.”

”It’s going to be hard, there will be ups and downs and times they do well but times they suffer against older, more physical opponents. It's something they must deal with to bridge that gap from the Under-23s to first-team football. I’m excited as the lads have got the right character and determination to be ready for the challenge posed by these games.

Dylan Levitt and George Tanner hard at work out in Austria.
Dylan Levitt and George Tanner are experienced members of Neil Wood's squad.

The rules state that at least six of the starting XI must be aged 21 or under on 30 June 2019 and there must be no more than two players who are over 21 and have made more than 40 appearances for the first team, again as of the end of last month.

The dates and times of the fixtures will be confirmed in due course, but the first ties will be played on w/c 2 September.

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