Kenny Jackett eyeing Premier League Cup run as Portsmouth progress after Doncaster cancellation
It proved a crucial tool in the developments of the current crop of Pompey home-grown talent.
The likes of Ben Close, Brandon Haunstrup, Alex Bass, Jack Whatmough and Adam May are among the players with Premier League Cup experience on their CV.
Jamal Lowe and Conor Chaplin also used the competition to sharpen their talent before the club cashed in on their ability.
Now the Blues are hoping for a repeat of their run to the semi-finals two years ago, after being given a place in the group stage of the competition.
That’s after Leicester withdrew, rendering their qualifying clash with Doncaster scheduled for next Tuesday meaningless.
Both teams will now progress and have been placed in group D, where they will be joined by Aston Villa – and the winners of the match involving Cambridge United and Exeter.
Pompey’s charge ended with a 3-0 extra-time defeat to eventual winners Swansea last time out.
Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie got two of the goals on that occasion to end a run which saw the Blues top a qualifying group including Norwich, Wolves and Everton before defeating the Blades and Colchester.
The competition offers the chance to blend youth and experience, with it an under-23 event where teams can field an overage keeper and three outfield players.
Jackett sees it as perfect opportunity for his squad to pick up games in the coming months.
He said: ‘It’s good. It’s a good one to integrate your older players with some of your better younger ones as well.
‘It does follow on quite well from pre-season when you get that mix and that blend.
‘You enjoy the games and see who can step up.
‘If we can have a run in that it would be good.
‘It’s more games and it’s just generally good for the club.
‘We can arrange games but if we could do well in that and get further games we’d take that.
‘As we stand that’s our aim.’
Former Pompey academy coach, Mikey Harris, pushed hard for the club to previously make the most of the competition and Jackett noted how it proved useful in the development of players now in his squad.
He added: ‘It’s excellent for the younger lads and was for the likes of Ben Close, Alex Bass, Brandon Haunstrup, Adam May and those kind of boys with Conor maybe just into the first team. That was a strong group.
‘It’s good for their confidence and for us to see who’s better a little bit higher up.
‘It’s seeing who’s likely to come through and handle the big occasions.’