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Having beaten Bournemouth 3-2 yesterday afternoon, Burnley progressed in the Premier League cup, as did Portsmouth who beat Southend 2-1 last night.

Firstly, I’ll get the name of the competition correct. In its three previous years it was known as the Under-21 Premier League Cup but with the new rules changing to make it an under-23 competition I’d just changed 21 with 23. That’s not the case, the competition is now known simply as the Premier League Cup.

Development squad coach Michael Jolley will oversee a much better programme of games

Development squad coach Michael Jolley will oversee a much better programme of games

It’s the fourth year of the competition with it having been won by Reading, Southampton and West Ham in the three previous years, but this season will see the competition played to a new format.

In those previous seasons we’d entered as a category 3 club with the category 2 clubs coming in for the second qualifying round and then the category 1 clubs. It was, from start to finish, a straight knockout competition.

Not so this season as the next round takes on a Champions League style format for the last 32 clubs in the competition, and our win against Bournemouth has given us a place in that last 32. It means that, rather than another knock out game, we are guaranteed six more games, home and away against the three clubs we are drawn against. That draw will take place on Thursday 1st September.

The top two in each group will then progress to the knock out competition with the last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all being one off knockout ties (not home and away as in the Champions League) with extra time and penalties should they be required.

I think this is great news for Burnley. There has been a lot of criticism that our development squad don’t play in a league and that’s something that those involved would agree with. However, because of our status, we would only be permitted to play in the Central League and that would be in a league which includes Bradford City, Burton, Morecambe, Port Vale, Walsall and Wrexham.

But, last season we entered the Central League Cup, playing against Middlesbrough and winning the held over final last week against Stoke. We’ve also entered the Lancashire Senior Cup this season, although we’ve received a bye in the first round, and now we have got six more guaranteed games in this competition.

I think that programme of games is as good as we’ve had for some considerable time. We can now look forward to next week’s draw.

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