The groups for this season’s EFL Trophy have been drawn with former winners of the competition Gregor Robertson, who was part of the Alex’s squad that won the trophy in 2013, and Paul Heckingbottom drew out the invited Premier League and Championship clubs this afternoon. The Crewe Alex official site have announced that we will travel to Tranmere on match-day 1 before hosting Man City and Shrewsbury on match-days 2 and 3 respectively.
After the announcement last week that we will play against League 1 Shrewsbury Town and fellow League 2 club Tranmere Rovers, Manchester City’s U21 side was drawn as the final team in our group. As part of this season’s new rules (see final paragraph of the link), the Football League clubs can include players that have been loaned out to National League clubs whilst the invited clubs can only name 2 players that are over 21 and have a minimum of 40 league appearances in their career.
We have met Shrewsbury twice in the competition previously, the first in 2003 with the Shrews winning 4-2 in the Northern Semi-Final (Ryan Lowe getting 2 and Luke Rodgers scoring the last with Darren Moss and Dave Artell also in their line-up) and in 2012 as part of our victorious campaign with Luke Murphy and Max Clayton getting the Alex goals in a 2-1 win.
We have met Tranmere on three occasions with the first meeting ending 0-0 with Tranmere winning on penalties in 1984. We had another draw in December 1988, this time 1-1, whilst Chris Shuker scored the only goal of the game in October 2008 in the only win for either team in this competition.