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Youngster praises coach’s influence on his development

From one Scottish striker to another, Hornby ready to learn from Big Dunc

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League 2

Everton academy striker Fraser Hornby wants to be the latest young Toffee to roll off the club’s academy production line - and hopes the help of a club icon will see him do it.

Last campaign was a breakthrough year for Hornby, who joined Everton from Northampton in 2014 at the age of just 14.

The 18-year-old Scot ended the season as a regular for the Under-23 side and also made his senior debut in the Europa League tie at Apollon Limassol in November.

The forward is also expected to start for Scotland U21 against England U21 in the semi-final of the Toulon Tournament tonight.

Hornby initially signed as a midfielder but has since flourished after being pushed further forward last year.

His big, powerful frame and the fact he hails from Scotland has unsurprisingly led to comparisons with Duncan Ferguson.

With Ferguson now amongst the Goodison coaching staff Hornby says his compatriot has played a key role in his development.

Speaking to the Scotsman, Hornby said:

“Duncan’s a fantastic person to learn off.

”I’ve had the pleasure of training with the first team quite a lot over the last few months and he’s been really good with me.

“I think he understands that I’m still learning the position. So I’m taking all of his advice on board and hopefully it’ll make me a better player.

“I’ve got two sides to me. I’ve got a side to me off the pitch but when I go on it, it’s all business for me. I like to put myself about in the right way. But off the pitch, it’s important to have a balance of being calm before you cross that white line.

“You sense Duncan’s iconic status at Everton every day. He’s a massive legend down there. Even when you travel to away games, all the fans want pictures with him. When new managers have gone, he’s still around the place. Whenever a new gaffer comes in they know how much of a character he is for the club. It’s good to have a familiar face around the first team so it’s great that he’s staying.”

Despite his relaxed demeanour off the pitch Ferguson had a fearsome reputation on it, resulting in him receiving eight red cards during his Premier League career.

If we assume Dunc isn’t passing on those particular behavioural traits, what’s his most useful piece of advice?

“The best bit of advice he’s given me is to always be in the box. Pundits often say about strikers that they’re in the best place at the right time. But, if you can get yourself into the best position all the time, you’ve got a better chance of scoring goals.”