Nottingham Forest will enter an under-21 team into next season’s EFL Trophy and Gary Brazil will probably be delighted. The Reds’ director of football development was very complementary in 2016 when the decision was made to introduce academy sides into it.

The Reds have now joined the party. They will join clubs from League One and League Two at the group stages; with the final of the competition set to take place at Wembley once again.

Forest Brazil
Photo; Mick Walker; CameraSport; Getty Images

Last season Bolton thrashed Plymouth 4-0 in the final of the competition. The furthest round that one of the under-21 teams reached was the quarter-final, with Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea both making it.

Forest won’t be too fussed about how far they go. The challenge is for some of their younger players who don’t go out on loan to mix it up and bloody a few noses against men.

It will be a good thing for the youngsters to get a taste of playing in proper stadiums and in front of crowds. The Reds could come up against Mansfield, Derby or Notts County in the competition.

Forest staff member Brazil was perhaps behind this decision. He was quizzed on the competition in 2016 and he suggested that the idea to bring academy teams into the mix can only be a good thing.

Forest man Brazil told BBC Sport: “I think it’s a good idea and it bridges the gap to first-team football. The EFL Trophy gives young players the opportunity to play against league teams and get a taste of it.”

Brazil also suggested it was frustrating that Forest couldn’t play in it. At the time Forest only had a Category Two academy; with one of the remits that the clubs involved are Category One.

Brazil will be happy with Forest announcement

Forest stalwart Brazil might well leave the club during the summer. His contract expires at the end of this month and there has been no announcement over a new deal at the City Ground.

Forest Brazil
Photo; Dan Mullan; Getty Images

It looks as though one of his final acts, however, has been to enter Forest into the EFL Trophy. He’s clearly a big fan of the competition and feels it would be beneficial to the club’s younger players.

It will be fascinating to see who Forest draw in the competition. Furthermore, it will be a great test for the lads coming through the ranks and Forest will hope to give a good account of themselves after the comments made by Brazil.

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