On June 1, 2001 he signed professional papers with a playing contract
that was set to span two years. Later in the 2001-02 season, it
appeared that he could be coming close to fulfilling his early promise
when he was co-opted into the first team squad and finally given a shirt
number. He even got a seat on the subs' bench at Southampton,
but that was the closest he came to a senior appearance.
Pettinger played a vital part in Everton's storming run to the Final of
the FA Youth Cup in 2002, and
appeared to be well on the road to future stardom as an understudy to the
more established goalies. He also played in the Liverpool Senior Cup
ties, and made two appearances for the Reserves.
Unfortunately, we don't have full appearance records for the Under-19s,
but we know he played in the majority of their games.
But it wasn't to be. With young Alex Cole snapping at his heels
in the U-19 team, Andrew Pettinger played his last games for
Reserves/Under-21s during the 2002 pre-season period before he left the
club by mutual consent in September 2002.
The 18-year-old has suffered from homesickness since
leaving Scunthorpe United. Everton have retained the youngster's
playing registration, and have insisted on a large sell-on fee should the
youngster fulfill his potential. But there was a suggestion that the
teenager no longer wanted to pursue a career in professional football.
Some months later, in December of 2002 Pettinger signed an 18-month
contract with Grimsby Town. Being back closer to his family, and
starting afresh with a new club, he is 'loving every minute of life' at
Andy Pettinger ended up playing just theee games for Grimsby Town over the next
18 months, and appears to have been released at the end of the 2003-04 season.
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