Checkatrade Trophy: A necessary competition?

The group stage of the Checkatrade trophy concluded this week, with Portsmouth FC making it through to the second round.

Despite losing 3-2 to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur’s U21s, the blues progressed in second place, and they will now face Arsenal in early December.

But just how interested are people in the competition? There were only 3,100 fans at Fratton Park last night.

Former player and manager Guy Whittingham believes it is a worthwhile trophy for his local side to compete in.

Fratton Park - Photograph: WikiCommons
Fratton Park – Photograph: WikiCommons

He said: “I think young players that are close to the first team need a competition so that they get a taste of reality.

“Take Fratton tonight, theres 3,100 fans here, it’s a proper stadium, and theres a lot more pressure for them.

“I think its important they’re trying something new.”

The competition has struggled to impress fans across the country, particularly since last year’s flaws.

Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi played for his side against MK Dons, just 24 hours after appearing against Atletico Madrid in the champions league.

For a competition designed to help young English players, just 30% of the starting elevens were English and under 21.

Andy Moon, Solent Sports commentator, agrees that the competition is unpopular, but says it will continue to run.

“I think they’ll keep sticking with it because a lot of money has been put in.” He said.

“In a group stage match, there’s 10,000 for a win, and 5000 for a draw.

“no ones going to turn that down, especially at the bottom of league two, 30,000 pounds is a significant amount of money.”

The full interviews are available below.