The Barclays Premier League have confirmed the creation of a new Under-21 competition to bridge the gap between the academy and first team and Everton are one of the 23 teams involved.
The first national showcase for Under-21 players will launch on August 17 when Chelski host Sitteh and Reading visit De 'ammers.Teams from 17 Premier League and six npower Championship clubs - effectively all those who applied for category one status - will be divided into three groups.
From January the sides will then be placed into three pools based on their performance, leading to a knockout stage and final.The emphasis will be on playing Under-21 players with each team limited to just three over-age outfield players and one over-age goalkeeper.
Dick Scudamore said: 'Each stage of a player's development is tailored to ensuring they have the best possible chance of progressing.'
'The new Barclays Under-21 Premier League addresses one of the most critical points - the transition from academy football to the highest standards in the first team.'
'We believe this competitive environment, where fans can also come along to watch the next generation of Premier League and international players, will help deliver more talented home grown boys to that next level.'
* National Group 1 - 8 Teams: Arsenal, Blackburn, Bolton, Everton, Norwich, Reading, West Brom, West Ham.
* National Group 2 - 8 Teams: Aston Villa, Manchester United, Newcastle, Southampton, Stoke, Sunderland, Tottenham, Watford.
* National Group 3 - 7 Teams: Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, redshite, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Wolves.
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