2022/23 Papa John’s Trophy Draw
The draw for the group stages of the 2022/23 Papa John’s Trophy will pit Aston Villa U-21’s up against AFC Wimbledon, Crawley Town and Portsmouth
While the inclusion of top tier U-21 teams has been controversial from a League 1 and League 2 point of view, it gives the likes of Aston Villa a chance to give some of their bright young hopes the experience of matches against proper EFL senior team opposition.
With both the League Cup and Papa John’s Trophy coming in the early part of the season, it provides enough opportunities in a claret and blue shirt for younger players, so Villa don’t need to loan them out immediately for the first half of the season.
Cameron Archer Opportunity
So in the case of Cameron Archer, who’s immediate future we already discussed on MOMS, Villa will no doubt see the Papa John’s Trophy fixtures, as a chance to keep Archer busy, while he’s also on the bench for the senior team’s match day squad.
After all, it’s a tournament he’ll have found memories of considering he was the competition’s top scorer last season.
Villa’s Papa John’s Opponents
Villa Under-21s will compete in southern section Group B following Thursday’s draw.
Next season Portsmouth will be in League One for the sixth successive season, while Wimbledon and Crawley ply their trade in League Two.
Dates and kick-off times for EFL Trophy fixtures to be confirmed.