Addicks learn Checkatrade fate
Addicks learn Checkatrade fate

Dates for the First Round group matches of the Checkatrade Trophy have been released.

Charlton will host AFC Wimbledon on 4 September and Swansea Under-21 on 13 November.

Sandwiched between the two Valley clashes is a trip to Stevenage on 9 October.

The Checkatrade has never been a popular‎ competition, and interest has waned further in recent season’s. Many of the group games attract crowds of no more than a few hundred.

The introduction of academy sides has done little to generate interest in the competition. The Addicks travelled to Swansea in the knock out stages last season. The game was watched by just 410 spectators, 41 of them Charlton fans.

Lee Bowyer intimated that there could be three new arrivals before Thursday’s closing of the transfer window, but there have been no signings so far.

Bowyer was only able to name five substitutes at Sunderland on Saturday. And with more of his players picking up knocks during the game, Charlton’s bench may again be short of numbers against Shrewsbury on Saturday.

Young midfielder, George Lapslie, looks certain to keep his starting place. Lewis Page paid this tribute to Lapslie’s performance at the Stadium of Light:

“George gets around the pitch very well and he’s also good on the ball. His energy helped us a lot in midfield, especially in the first half with him and Joe Aribo.”

Page feels the squad needs bolstering if they are to have a successful season, and added:

“A lot of us are really young. Myself, I’ve only just turned 22, so we’re going to need a few more experienced heads, probably.

“We’ll just see what happens over the next week.”