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Royle relishing return 'home'

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Joe Royle says he is 'coming home' after re-joining Everton as part of Roberto Martinez's coaching staff.

Alex Livesey

I think it is fair to say that Everton is in Joe Royle's blood.

After growing up watching the team in the stands, Royle made his Toffees debut as a 16-year-old in 1966, going on to make more than 200 appearances for the club over eight years.

In 1994 he returned to Goodison Park, this time as manager, rescuing a club that was bottom of the Premier League and guiding them not only to safety but FA Cup glory against Manchester United in May 1995.

His stay at Everton was all too brief, with Royle resigning in March 1997 after a dispute with chairman Peter Johnson over transfer policy.

You get the impression Royle has been keen to make up for that disappointment ever since, like an itch that has never been scratched, and now he has the chance.

Royle will work with the younger members of the Everton side alongside coaches like Kevin Sheedy and David Unsworth.

He will oversee the transition from youth side to first-team, helping to organise loan spells away from the club to gain valuable experience. Meanwhile those who may not make it at Everton will be helped by Royle to gain a new club elsewhere.

It is a savvy appointment by Martinez, who knows the importance of developing young players, an issue which has huge relevance to the struggling England national team.

With no sugar daddy to bankroll the club, developing young players is crucial to its survival and this appointment can only help that process.

The 65-year-old was linked with the post earlier this year but instead joined Norwich City in an advisory capacity. However, the lure of Everton proved just too great for Royle to resist.

Speaking to the club's website, Royle said:

"It’s coming home and another phase in my Everton lifetime. I’ve stood on the terraces, been a player and a manager here.

"Now I’m working with the Academy and with Roberto, [chief scout] Kevin Reeves and [Under-21s coach] David Unsworth to look at the futures of those who are hopefully going to be Everton players.

"I’m excited. It’s a role that I first spoke to Roberto about last January. It’s taken this time for the role to develop and I’m rather pleased to back."

"I’ve been in football a long time. I’ve been in the professional environment and around football people over half a century.

"I was particularly happy with my big signings here as a manager and I was happy with the signings I made at Oldham that went on to be big players but, more than anything, [it was] the faith in the young players.

"Roberto shares that faith – he wants to see a side here heavily dependent on Everton’s own products. As a fan – no one has ever disputed I’m an Evertonian – you do like to see your own come through.

"Now that most of the money in football is directed to the Premier League, a lot of clubs are living hand to mouth. We can help each other.

"They can give our players experience that the lack of a reserve league deprives them of. Equally, we can get our players out for education if they are going to the right place.

"Again, that is going to be part of the job, selecting and listening to the right place for them."