Local boy Francis Jeffers made his way to the Everton senior squad after working his way up from the youth teams. Now he wants to help more young forwards make that move successfully.
Jeffers made his Premier League debut at the age of 16 in 1997, and went on to score 22 goals in two spells at the club. The striker also played at Arsenal and had one England cap, scoring in his only appearance.
After spending the last year and a half assisting the coaches at Everton’s Academy, he is now joining the club in a full-time position as a coach while he works towards completing his UEFA A-Licence.
At 35, he still has many good years ahead of him and will focus sepcifically on mentoring attack-minded players in the Academy.
In an interview with evertontv, he said -
“I’ll be working with all the forward-thinking players in the Academy, trying to help them on their journey, which I know a bit about because I have been on it myself.
“I’m passionate about coaching and there is no better place to do that than at the Club I love.
“It’s a lot harder now to break through at Academies because a striking role can be made up of various aspects; playing out wide, playing in a three or playing up there on your own.
“Back when I started, the things I did in the youth team were the same things I did when I got into the first team. We only ever played with two up-front - I played in a 4-4-2 in the youth teams, A and B teams, reserves and then, when I got in the first-team, I also played in a two, be it with Duncan Ferguson or Kevin Campbell.
“But you look at it now and teams play mainly with one striker, some play with none. Helping forwards be ready for that challenge is something I’m really passionate about because I believe the kids in the Academy need more help as a striker.”