Leeds United U21s have been drawn in Group B alongside Bolton Wanderers, Crewe Alexandra and Tranmere Rovers in this season’s Papa John’s Trophy. The Whites will be playing in the competition for the third consecutive year and will be looking to progress out of the group stages for the first time.
Leeds were knocked out on goal difference last season after winning 3-2 at Oldham Athletic, with a 4-1 defeat to Tranmere and 5-3 loss to Salford City either side. That was a much better showing than their debut year, though, as they failed to win a single game, which included a 7-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley.
As of yet, Leeds are yet to appoint a new U21s head coach after Mark Jackson’s promotion to the first team and Andrew Taylor’s return to his previous role as loan manager. Last year’s tournament provided some of Leeds’ youngsters the opportunity to get a taste of senior action, which proved vital following the club’s injury crisis throughout the season.
Leeds handed eight Premier League debuts to teenagers last season, with Cody Drameh, Joe Gelhardt, Charlie Cresswell, Crysencio Summerville, Lewis Bate, Leo Hjelde, Stuart McKinstry and Sam Greenwood all getting their first taste of top-flight football.