Southampton have today confirmed they will once again participate in the Checkatrade Trophy in the 2017-18 season.
The Saints took part in the new format of the competition in its inaugural season before being knocked out at the last 32 stage against Reading on penalties at St Mary’s last year.
The competition, which Southampton won in 2010 when it was branded the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, includes 16 invited under-21 sides from the Premier League and Championship as well as all 48 teams in League One and League Two.
The format was changed by the Football League last year but was criticised due to low crowds and restrictive rules on what teams League One and League Two clubs could field.
Invited under-21 teams joining Southampton in this year’s competition feature Tottenham and Manchester City, who both declined to take part last year, as they strive to give valuable experience to their youngsters in a tournament won by Coventry City in 2017.