Days after handing out new deals that kept Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny and Mason Holgate at the club for a few more years, Everton have now given young central defender Morgan Feeney a new contract as well.
The 18-year-old centre-back was on an expiring deal ending this season, but will now remain on the books through till the end of the 2019-20 season. Feeney has featured in two Europa League games for the senior squad, and was on the bench for the third, along with 14 appearances for the Under-23s.
The Bootle-born teenager was one of the youngest members of the Premier League 2 title-winning Under-23s squad last season, and despite being integral to the success of the youth team, Feeney continues to hold a season ticket in the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street end.
Speaking after signing the new contract, Feeney was happy to be a part of the ongoing youth revolution at the Blues.
“It is a proud moment for me. I’ve grown up as an Evertonian and still am an Evertonian so it’s amazing to be a part of it and what the Club wants to do going forward. It’s an exciting time to be a player and a fan.
“It’s been a crazy couple of months and weeks for me, but it has all fallen nicely into place and I am on cloud nine at the minute and everything is working out well.
“I am learning a lot every day working with Unsy or with the first team. I am picking up things and trying to take it into my own game so I feel as if I am playing better than when I signed my original contract.
“I would love to play in the first team as regularly as possible, push on and get a few more games under my belt and stay here for many years.”
Manager Sam Allardyce, despite his rumoured reputation of not being big on youth focus, has continued to give youngsters like Calvert-Lewin, Kenny and Holgate extended looks in the senior squad and that hasn’t escaped Feeney’s notice.
“I don’t think there’s a better place to be (than Everton). There’s a real buzz around the place and a confidence that there are chances here for us, to develop as a player and have a good career here.
“You see them (Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and Kenny) all doing so well, and it gives you encouragement that you can do it yourself, gives you that belief to go on.
“I haven’t worked with him (Allardyce) too much but he has been positive so far from what I have seen and got us back to winning ways.
“I can’t thank everyone enough who has helped get me the contract so it is great timing with the new manager coming in and hopefully I can use that as a platform to kick on.”
The centre-half pipeline has stalled in recent years with loanees Tyias Browning struggling to make an impression at Sunderland and Matthew Pennington disappearing into obscurity at Leeds United this season. Hopefully Feeney can continue to develop under David Unsworth and eventually make his way up like Holgate has done.