- Marcus Browne believes the Checkatrade Trophy has massive benefits for young players
- He was part of the West Ham United PL2 side which lost 3-0 to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday
- Browne also thinks playing in front of big crowds at stadiums give them an extra boost.
Marcus Browne is all for the newly-formatted Checkatrade Trophy and believes the EFL should persevere with the new layout of the competition.
The English Football League revamped the former Football League Trophy during the summer, allowing Category One academies to enter teams into the competition which already featured all League One and Two clubs.
The new proposals stipulate that all EFL clubs have to start every match with five “First Team” players and U23 sides must have six players under the age of 21 in their starting eleven.
The new format has come under criticism from some clubs and fan groups but Browne said he would be more than happy if the EFL chose to continue with the new blueprint.
“It’s a good competition for us to be in as young players. There’s a lot to take from the games, playing against men and seeing where we’re at as young players,” said the 18-year-old playmaker.
“I think the fact that they’re men, they are physically stronger and bigger than us so there’s lots of different aspects to the game that they have an advantage on us.
“But in the same token we’re good footballers and we’ve got a lot to learn. We’re still developing until we become men and I think we can all get to that level.”
West Ham United PL2 have lost both their games in the competition so far – a 4-2 defeat to Coventry City in August and a 3-0 loss to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday.
The Hammers are currently bottom of Southern Group D with their final group fixture being played at Sixfields against Northampton Town in November.
Terry Westley have performed valiantly in both matches so far and Browne thinks their performance in the Wycombe match showed that if they play more against experienced opposition, they will get better.
“We got the jist of how they [Wycombe] wanted to play – direct and long and they looked to get the ball from back to front as quick as they could,” Browne continued.
“We adapted to that better, getting on to second balls more as they dropped and we tried to hit them on the counter attack. We did grow into the game and we looked better towards the end.
“Not a lot changed (in the dressing room talk). We knew there were going to be powerful and physical and they wanted to get the ball in the box and we tried to figure ways of adapting slightly.
“Set pieces were difficult especially when they have someone like Akinfenwa up front but we just have to learn not to give fouls away and try and keep the ball on the pitch as long as we can.
“There’s massive benefits for young players to take from the tournament, especially being in a tournament with mini-league and knockout stages. It’s massive for us because it’s like playing the real thing.”