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Newcastle United confirm kids will participate in Pizza Cup alongside Sunderland first team

5 months ago
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Newcastle United could play the Sunderland first team in the upcoming 2021/22 season.

Last season Sunderland exited both the FA Cup and League Cup before Newcastle United even entered the competitions.

However, even if that happens once again, there is an alternative route.

This will be the seventh season in a row with no league derby matches and with Sunderland now looking a typical established League One club, that could be the case for some time, despite Mike Ashley’s attempts to take Newcastle United on a similar journey.

Hilariously, a team of Newcastle United kids played the Sunderland first team in a competitive fixture in January 2019, the Checkatrade Trophy seeing NUFC, like other big clubs, allowed to enter under 21 teams, to give them the chance of experience in playing smaller lower league clubs’ first teams.

The result was irrelevant (the first team Mackems going way overboard in celebrating beating a team of NUFC kids), just great to see the ‘rivalry’ brought to this level, Newcastle kids playing Sunderland’s first team in a competitive fixture.

Now the Pizza Cup (Papa John’s Trophy) rather than Checkatrade, Sunderland actually won this tinpot competition that Newcastle United’s first team have never stooped low enough to be able to take part.

No doubt it will be the highlight of the season again for Sunderland, dreaming of going far in this Pizza Cup.

Good luck to Newcastle United’s kids and hopefully another meeting with Sunderland’s first team lies ahead.

No doubt once again the organisers will keep Sunderland’s first team and Newcastle’s kids apart for the time being but if both progress, I’m assuming there will be nothing to block a meeting happening again later in the knockout stages.

Newcastle United Official Announcement:

‘A Newcastle United under-21 side will again take part in the Papa John’s Trophy during the 2021/22 campaign, it has been confirmed.

Chris Hogg and Peter Ramage’s side are one of 16 Category One academies joining the 48 teams from League One and Two for next season’s competition.

United’s youngsters will face three teams from those two divisions during the group stage and each game will be contested away from home.

Matchday one is scheduled to take place on the week commencing Monday 30th August, with the second group stage fixture set to take place on the week commencing Monday 4th October.

United will wrap up their initial fixtures on the week commencing Monday 8th November and, should they progress, could have a round of 32 clash to look forward to on the week commencing Monday 29th November.

As was the case last year, regionalisation will play a part until the quarter-final stages but the semi-finals will take place at the stadium of the team drawn first in both ties.

The showpiece final will be contested at Wembley Stadium and is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 3rd April 2022.

Last term, Newcastle were unable progress from a group featuring Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra and Bolton Wanderers but did win all three of their group games in 2018/19, beating the likes of Notts County, Doncaster Rovers and Grimsby Town to top their group.

They then saw off Macclesfield on penalties at St. James’ Park before exiting at the round of 16 stage following a defeat against Sunderland, who won last season’s competition, at the Stadium of Light.’

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