Scott Marshall's Under-23s will be getting their Premier League Cup campaign underway on Friday night.
The Royals were the inaugural winners of the competition when it launched in the 2013-14 season, with Eamonn Dolan leading his squad at the time to victories over Arsenal in the semi-finals and Manchester City over two legs in the final to claim the silverware.
The young Royals also made the final in the 2016-17 campaign, with Swansea City running out as winners at the last hurdle. It's a competition in which our Academy has a history of performing well, and our current crop start this year's trophy away at the Colchester Community Stadium.
The Under-23 teams of Birmingham City and Fulham have also been drawn in the same group as the Royals, with a home and away fixture against each team deciding the standings in the group stages - before the tournament goes into its knockout phase, with the top two teams qualifying after six matches.
This competition represents another chance for our youngsters to develop in a competitive environment within our Academy, alongside their European exploits in the Premier League International Cup and their league action in the PL2.
Marshall's squad have started the season in fine form, losing just once in eight matches in league and cup so far - coupled with solid performances and results in a series of midweek friendlies at our training ground.
We wish our youngsters the best of luck for their first game of the competition, which gets underway at 7pm on Friday evening.