After the first day of preseason training that comprised mainly fitness work, the Everton players descended onto the training pitch today in a session led by new manager Marco Silva.
Of interest to the fans will be the in-depth conversation that Silva appeared to have with striker Sandro Ramirez, who went through an awful season last year first at Everton and then at Sevilla. Reports from a few months ago seemed to indicate that he had no intention of returning to Merseyside, but might have had a change of heart following the exit of Sam Allardyce.
Another player pictured below is youngster Ademola Lookman who also fell foul of Allardyce’s selection policy, and chose to go out on loan at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga despite the manager’s insistence that he stay in-country.
With Jordan Pickford away on England duty at the World Cup and Joel Robles released, the only two goalies at camp are veteran Maarten Stekelenburg and the Under-23s’ Mateusz Hewelt.
Also at training is Kieran Dowell, who will have a chance this summer to prove that he is ready for the Premier League spotlight. The youngster started hot out on loan in the Championship for Nottingham Forest last season, before fading away in the second half.
Another player who was relegated to the fringes last season was Nikola Vlasic, and he will be looking to impress the new boss as well as he attempts to cement his place in the senior squad.
Defender Michael Keane is looking forward to working with Silva on the recommendation of his brother Will Keane who managed by the 40-year-old manager at Hull City.
“I am excited about the next few weeks now. It is a fresh start and everyone is on a level playing field. It is a new chance to impress and I am sure everyone will be trying to do that.
“I have heard excellent things about the new manager from people I have spoken to and I am looking forward to working with him.
“My brother said really positive things about him and I spoke to Harry Maguire who really enjoyed playing under him. Speaking to them made me even more excited to come back in and start training.”
The players got put through their paces yesterday by the Head of Rehabilitation Matt Taberner as they underwent a number of strength and conditioning tests. Taberner explained the testing conducted and how the information is used for baselining the players’ fitness levels.
“It’s all electronically recorded. We have strain gauges, which detect force and gives us the information straight back to our laptops.
“When you look at the exercise Theo (Walcott) was doing, that was an isometric hamstring test. We do it so we know his baseline for the rest of the season. We’ll also do it at the end of pre-season, to see if there’s any change, and that will then be his marker until the end of the season.
“For Beni (Baningime), he was doing an eccentric knee flexor strength test. Strength is one of the modifiable factors for a hamstring strain and this well tell us how much force he is generating with his left and his right hamstring.
“Cenk’s (Tosun) was an isometric mid-thigh pull. It’s a test of full-body strength. We then calculate how strong the individual is relative to his body mass, which we then use in conjunction with one of the jump tests which tells us whether the player needs to focus on strength or ballistic power. It gives us some focus for their strength and condition programming.
“And you can see Mason (Holgate) doing a counter movement jump. It is a test of lower body power, so this will tell us how much power the athlete is capable of producing, relative to their body mass. Because we can’t look at everybody in general, we need to look at them on an individual basis and where they need to focus their training programme, either on strength development or power development. It’s all about doing something that’s centrally focused on what they need to work on.”