Kevin Nolan is looking forward to a game against Newcastle United.

Wednesday saw Notts County pulled out of the hat to face NUFC’s young stars in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Also in the group are Doncaster and Grimsby.

No dates for the games as yet but Kevin Nolan believes ‘It will be fantastic for their lads and good exposure for them. It will be a tough one for us but I am sure I will see a few old friends.’

In his two full seasons at Newcastle United, Kevin Nolan was joint top scorer with Andy Carroll in the 2009/10 promotion season and top scorer for NUFC in the 2010/11 Premier League return season.

Kevin Nolan speaking to the Nottingham Post:

“It is great to see them coming down here.

“It will be fantastic for their lads and good exposure for them.

“It will be a tough one for us but I am sure I will see a few old friends.

Hopefully the Toon will bring a few because I know how fantastic they are in supporting their club.

“I am hoping we will get a few on the gate and a decent atmosphere.

“That’s probably the only thing that lets the competition down is the numbers who come to watch the games.

“It feels like a nothing game, but with the squad we have it will be really good exposure for the young lads and test themselves against a real quality academy side.”

The Mag – Wednesday 18 July 2018:

The Checkatrade Trophy draw as gone ahead on Wednesday.

The Police having prior to the draw, saved Sunderland from potential serious embarrassment.

Last month it was confirmed (see below) that Newcastle United would once again enter a team of kids in the Checkatrade Trophy, as one of 16 Category One Academies in the competition, along with the first teams of the 48 League One and Two clubs.

With the group stage divided into north and south, it looked to be a one in eight chance of Newcastle’s kids playing Sunderland’s first team.

However, the Police intervened and in a move to prevent potential trouble, they have blocked Newcastle playing Sunderland and Southampton playing Portsmouth.

EFL statement:

“Southampton U21s will be prevented from being drawn with Portsmouth and Newcastle U21s will avoid Sunderland in Round One, as the EFL has committed to work in conjunction with the Police to avoid high-profile clashes in the Group Stages.”

(Not sure what would happen beyond the group stage if both qualify…?)

As stated above, the draw was split into eight groups of four in the north and eight groups in the south.

Instead of potentially Newcastle United, the big club’s academy side that Sunderland will face (in northern section Group A) are Championship outfit Stoke City, as well as League Two clubs Morecambe and Carlisle.

As for Newcastle’s Academy team, they will face League One Doncaster Rovers (in northern section Group G), as well as League two clubs Grimsby and (Kevin Nolan’s) Notts County.