Newcastle United have announced on their official website that they will once again be competing in the EFL Trophy, raising the prospect of another Tyne-Wear "derby" between a Magpies team and rivals Sunderland.
Last season, the competition found itself in the sports headlines as the Magpies' reserve side took on Sunderland's first team at the Stadium of Light, the Black Cats overpowering their younger opponents in the last-16 encounter.
With Sunderland falling just short of getting promotion to the Championship, the Wearsiders' first team will once again take part in the competition, which means that Newcastle's second string could once again take on their bitter rivals.
The Magpies, who survived in the Premier League last term under the guidance of Rafael Benitez, will be one of 16 category one academies to enter the competition, which comprises all the League One and Two clubs.
Here is how some Toon Army faithful reacted to the club's official announcement, which was shared on their Twitter account:
Be the first team in it soon if you don’t sort yourselves out— Daryn (@DeeCeeGee89) 14 June 2019
Is this confirmation of the football club planning for existence next season?— Noa Bachner (@noabachner) 14 June 2019
Sunderland away for a second year running— Matty (@MatthewBowe11) 14 June 2019
It will be the first team in a couple of years— yoyo (@nufc0416) 14 June 2019
what about competing in the prem lge or one of thoose other shiney silver things? cups a think there called?????— eddie (@EddiebatesEp) 14 June 2019
That's absolutely fantastic news!— MJANUFC (@MjaNufc) 14 June 2019
Like to see them get the mackems again n see if they’ve improved— bigrobnufc (@Robbieo68646502) 14 June 2019
I surprised by this decision as most of these under 23 players will be playing in the first team! That’s because most of the current squad will be away once you have announced Rafas gone!!!— Alan B NUFC (@BROWEA) 14 June 2019
Why don't we compete in the real cups?— James (@toon4life1977) 14 June 2019
The 64 clubs who have entered next season's EFL Trophy will be divided into 16 groups of four, with eight northern groups and eight southern groups, and first round of fixtures is scheduled to take place in the week commencing 2 September.
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