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Football League Trophy

Football League Trophy
Football Tournament
Number of teams48
Current season2011 12 Football League Trophy

     Home | Football | Football League Trophy

The Football League Trophy, also known as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for sponsorship reasons, is an annual English association football knockout competition open to the 48 clubs in Football League One and Football League Two, the bottom two divisions in the four fully professional top divisions of English league football. The 2009 10 defending champions were Southampton, while the 2011 Final was contested between Brentford and Carlisle United on 3 April 2011 with Carlisle winning 1-0.

The competition began in the 1983-84 season as the Associate Members' Cup but from 1992 it has been named the Football League Trophy after the lower league clubs became Full Members of the league. The competition replaced the short lived Football League Group Cup, a competition which was only played between 1981/2 and 1982/3 (although confusingly, in the second year it was also called the Football League Trophy). The competition has been associated with a title sponsor since its second edition. As this sponsor has changed over the years the competition has been known in turn as the Freight Rover Trophy, the Sherpa Van Trophy, the Leyland DAF Cup, the Autoglass Trophy, the Auto Windscreens Shields Trophy and LDV Vans Trophy, until the present sponsor Johnstone's Paint was adopted in 2007.

The current competition is only open to the 48 clubs in League One and Two. The first draws are made in August, then the competition runs as two parallel North/South area competitions, before the two winners meet in late March or early April for the final at England's national stadium, Wembley. The basic North/South format of the competition has existed since its beginnings, although other details have varied over the years, including in some years inviting clubs from the semi-professional Conference National, and holding a round robin group stage prior to moving into knockout rounds.

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