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Johnstone's Paint Trophy Is Good News
By: Bill Osborne
THE draw for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy will take place at 9.30am today and will be published here immediately after the draw. What is interesting is the move by the Football League who have announced changes to the competition which will benefit the clubs.
The League says that new measures place a particular emphasis on encouraging more families to attend midweek cup matches with clubs making available free tickets to children under the age of 16 accompanied by a paying adult.
With this in mind, The League has also, for the first time ever in a domestic cup competition, scrapped extra-time in drawn matches. Instead, matches will be decided by penalty shoot-outs at the end of 90 minutes. With clubs aiming to attract more families to matches this will not only add to the excitement, but also avoid late night finishes to games.
Clubs have also made a renewed commitment to fielding full-strength teams throughout the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Under the competition's rules, clubs will be required to include in their matchday line-up a majority of the 11 players that have appeared most often in first team games this season.
For the first time in the competition's history, prize money will be awarded exclusively to the winners of matches, in each successive round, from a total prize fund of Â£350,000 - with the competition's winners set to secure a total jackpot of over Â£90,000.
To ensure more local match-ups in the opening round of matches clubs will now be sub-divided into four regional sections - Northern (West), Northern (East), Southern (West) and Southern (East) with the winners being consolidated into the traditional Northern and Southern sections from Round Two onwards.
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