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Davies blazing a trail for youngsters

The ‘Ketwig Kaiser’ is an inspiration for many

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Everton v Manchester City - Premier League
Tom Davies
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

For a soft-spoken young boy of eighteen, Tom Davies has certainly made a statement that is loud enough to be heard across the Premier League and possibly beyond. His performances for Everton have taken the Merseyside area by storm and is focusing the spotlight firmly on the teenager.

The midfielder met with reporters last week at the Everton Free School where he spoke about utter strangers and even Liverpool fans commending him.

“Everyone you see, even on the Liverpool side, is coming up and telling me how proud they are of me. That’s what it is like in this city. I’ve been getting lots of texts and messages from everyone. I’ve been thrilled by the reaction. I like talking to people.

“I think everyone in Liverpool likes it when someone from the city does well. I think that’s just how it is in general.

“I still feel 10ft tall. It was a great feeling walking off the pitch [last Sunday]. I’m not sure I wanted to. I just wanted to stay out there. It was an unbelievable feeling doing that for your home club, something I always dreamed of and wanted to do. I can’t put into words how proud I am of myself and thankful to everyone who helped me.”

The ‘last Sunday’ that he refers to here is when Everton swept aside Manchester City 4-0, and ‘doing that’ is him scoring that goal.

Davies is not like your run-of-the-mill teenager who has made it big in football. He eschews the trappings of fame, like going on a different kind of summer holiday with fellow Academy prospects Kieran Dowell and Harry Charsley.

“We just wanted to see the culture– it’s part of the world I’ve never been to. We started on the Amalfi coast, Capri, and then got the train to Rome. We saw the Pope, the Colosseum, then we went on to Lake Como.

“Maybe I’m not your average footballer, but that’s just who I am and what I’m like.”

Playing in the Premier League has not overwhelmed him, and he has grown into his role, having been a regular member of Everton and England squads during training sessions. He made his senior team debut in the Blues last game of the season against Norwich City.

“It was an eye-opener. These are the best England have got and you are going to train with them. It was unusual but after the start of the session, I was fine with it and it felt natural. That gave me confidence.

“That (Norwich) game showed me that I can get there and just have to keep going. The goal last week was great but I got man of the match against Norwich and I came away thinking, ‘I can actually do this’.

“Coming back for pre-season there were a lot of nerves, with a new manager and having to make an impression on him, but being with the first team full-time was good for me and my development. If it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I would be where I am now.

“Everyone from the academy was always wanting me to play, but obviously the new manager comes in and has his thoughts. He brought new players in so for me it was a case of waiting for my opportunity. We said that if I was nowhere near it after Christmas, we might look at a loan. But I was getting in the squads and on the bench, so it was just a case of being ready for the opportunity when it came. Then with us getting a few injuries and Idrissa Gueye going to the Africa Cup of Nations, I’ve managed to get my chance. I’m just grateful that I’ve managed to take it. If it comes, grasp it.”

Winger Yannick Bolasie commented on last week’s episode of The Everton Show that he was impressed by Davies’ adaptation to the senior side.

Tom Davies has become an ambassador for those guys. A lot of people are going to look up to Tom and believe they can do it as well.

“I’d be thinking the same if I was in the youth team. I would say ‘if he’s done it, why can’t I?’ As a player, you end up working harder, which is good for the Club.

“It’s always good to see youngsters coming over because you know that, as a senior player, you can teach them things. A lot of our younger players tend to listen and want advice. They ask questions as well, which is important.”