New Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands has been busy keeping the farm system stocked, with new deals handed out to multiple players over the last couple of weeks. Unlike last summer when the Blues went on a spending spree for both youth and senior sides, this transfer window has been a time for trimming and reflection so far.
Some youth players who were going to be out of contract have signed new one-year deals, likely to give them another chance to show that they indeed do belong.
Joe Hilton - The 18-year-old goalie has been given a new one-year deal, and has been with the Blues for two seasons now. He has featured seven times for the U18s and 4 times for the U23s. Hilton traveled to Austria with the senior team for the recenlty-concluded training camp.
Con Ouzounidis - The 18-year-old center half has been handed his first professional contract. Starred last season as the Under-18s’ captain before being called up by David Unsworth to the Under-23s where he made a strong impression scoring twice in six games as well before suffering a broken foot. He has been inspired by Unsworth telling him he can make a difference on both ends of the pitch. One to keep an eye on in the U23’s this year.
Matty Foulds - The 20-year-old is versatile, splitting his season with the U23s at centreback and leftback. He’s been with the club since 2016, and has signed a new one-year deal after playing in 18 games last season, scoring once.
Jack Kiersey - The 19-year-old box-to-box midfielder has been given a new one-year deal after signing his first professional contract last year. He’s been with the Blues since the age of 10, and was the Under-18s’ Player of the Season in 2016/17. Unfortunate last year with a couple of injuries resulting in hamstring surgery, made just the one substitute appearance for U23s last season, but had four goals and an assist the year before.
Daniel Bramall - The 19-year-old right winger gets a new one-year deal after signing his first professional contract last season. He’s been with the club for the last five years and broke into the U23s with Unsworth. Bramall can play at the right back position as well, featuring in four games last season. The previous season with the U18s he had 7 goals and 9 assists in 28 games.
Alex Denny - The 18-year-old versatile midfielder signed his first contract with Everton, a two-year-deal. He’s been with the Blues since the age of nine and in 2018 has quickly become a leader in Unsworth’s U23 side, starting the last five games of the season and captaining the team in the Merseyside Derby along with a substitute appearance in the Apollon Limassol game.
Shayne Lavery - The 19-year-old striker gets a new one-year deal, and has been with the club since 2015. He featured in nine U23 games last season, scoring thrice with one assist. Last season was a breakthrough year for the youngster as he made his senior international debut for Northern Ireland in a substitute appearance.
Fraser Hornby - The 18-year-old forward penned his first professional deal on a three-year term. He’s been with the club since 2014, scoring six goals and four assists in 17 games for the U23s, including a debut start in the dead-rubber Europa League game at Apollon Limassol. Coming back from a long-term injury, he started last season with the U18s but climbed up after just three games. Capped off an excellent year playing a vital role for the Scotland Under-21 side that reached the semifinals of the Toulon tournament.
Eleven Everton Academy youngsters have now graduated to become full-time players. The youngsters were still in school until the end of the last term and only trained on weekday afternoons and evenings, but will now go into Paul Tait’s Under-18 squad for the coming season.
(excerpts from Everton FC)
Jack Barrett (Goalkeeper): Goalkeeper Barrett joined Everton as a nine-year-old and models his game on Blues number one Jordan Pickford and Manchester City’s Ederson.
Harry Tyrer (Goalkeeper): The Crosby-born goalkeeper has been with Everton since the age of seven, having spent time at both Liverpool and Manchester City.
Ryan Astley (Defender): Wales Under-17s centre-back Astley is also eligible for England, and says his favourite Everton player is Blues skipper Phil Jagielka.
Josh Hosie (Defender): Wales Under-17 international right-back Hosie is also eligible for England and Scotland, despite being born in Wrexham.
Jonathan Anderson (Defender): Born in Rome, defender Anderson joined Everton aged 15 and says his footballing hero is Czech legend Pavel Nedved.
Mackenzie Hunt (Midfielder): Eligible for Ireland as well as England, midfielder Hunt lived in Dubai for seven years as a youngster.
Rhys Hughes (Midfielder): A Wrexham-born attacking midfielder, Hughes has represented Wales at Under-17 level and speaks Welsh.
Bobby Carroll (Midfielder): Doncaster-born central midfielder Carroll cites Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Croatia star Luka Modric as those he tries to model his game on.
Seb Quirk (Midfielder): Now found in either central midfield or on the right, Liverpool-born Quirk has played at right-back, left-back, in central defence and as a left midfielder in his career to date. His second uncle is Toffees legend Duncan Ferguson.
Pedro Neves (Forward): Sao Paulo-born left winger Neves signed from Charlton aged 15. He has represented both his native Brazil and Portugal at Under-15 level.
Max Thompson (Forward): Capable of playing across the front line, Thompson’s brother and father also played football, for Blackburn Rovers and York City respectively.
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