Papa John’s Trophy: Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore only allowed limited changes for Harrogate clash

English Football League rules may hinder attempts by Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore to shuffle his pack against Harrogate Town in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 4:15 pm

The Owls are set to play their second game in just three days tomorrow when they host Simon Weaver’s side in the final group match of the competition, with both teams already through to the last 32.

And while both managers may be tempted to make numerous changes for a game with nothing riding on the outcome except for a home or away tie in the next round, their hands could be tied somewhat by the competition’s strict rules.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sheffield Wednesday host Harrogate Town in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday.

The remarkable Sheffield Wednesday return of Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver told ahead of Papa Johns Trophy clash

EFL clubs must have at least four 'qualifying' outfield players in their starting line-ups otherwise they can be fined up to £5,000.

A qualifying player is defined as:

- Any player who started the previous or following first-team fixture

- Any player who is in the top 10 players at the club who have made the most starting appearances in league and domestic cup competitions that season

- Any player with 40 or more first-team appearances in their career

- Any player on loan from a Premier League club or any EFL 'Category One' academy club

A club can play any eligible goalkeeper in the competition.

Joe Wildsmith is likely to replace Bailey Peacock-Farrell in goal, having played both matches in the competition so far.

Despite the rules, the likes of Jaden Brown, Massimo Luongo, Sylla Sow, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, George Byers and Olamide Shodipo could still be in line for starts after limited action in recent weeks.

Some of those players meet the criteria for ‘qualifying players’, which would give Moore further flexibility in his team selection.

Ciaran Brennan, Josh Render and Liam Waldock could also be involved after returning to Sheffield Wednesday from their respective loan spells in non-league.