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Hope Springs Eternal

By Michael Kenrick :  14/04/2011 :  Comments (36) :
Is Hallum really our next big Hope? The following story is from

Will Everton's new Hope be the next Rooney or Jeffers?

With graduates such as Wayne Rooney, Francis Jeffers, James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe, Everton's academy is well respected for producing promising young strikers.

It's something that has not gone unnoticed by some of England's leading lights in recent years, with Manchester United and Arsenal splashing out big money on the emerging talent of Rooney and Jeffers. The two may have ended up at different ends of the footballing scale, but they were both trained to the high standards that academy manager Ray Hall expects.

The latest striker out of Hall's famed classroom, Hallam Hope, has been schooled in a similar way. Yet based on early evidence, the Manchester-born front-man looks set to be more Rooney than Jeffers. Hope joined Everton aged 11 after a short spell at Manchester City. He quickly rose through the ranks, earning a reputation as a powerful and hard working forward who found goals easy to come by. Naturally, comparisons followed, with many believing Hallam was a mixture between the tenacious Rooney, and the 'fox in the box' Jeffers. Both seemed unfair.

The youngster announced himself to many after scoring a hat-trick against Watford in the final of the 2008 Milk Cup. A year later, he was selected for the England Under 16 squad for the Sky Sports Victory Shield. A brace on his debut against Wales aided the Young Lions' cause en route to winning the tournament. Hope has since taken the international baton and ran with it, stepping up to the Under 17's where he currently has 10 goals from 10 matches (two of which came against Portugal last summer and can be seen in the video below).

A strong, energetic, instinctive finisher, the only real question mark is over Hope?s ability in the air. While not the smallest, he lacks some of the physical presence of recent graduates Vaughan and Anichebe. That said, Hallam did bag the winner in last weekend?s youth team match against Sheffield United with his head. It is something the player himself has also picked up on, showing he clearly isn't resting on his already impressive laurels.

Everton instil a confident but determined nature in their prospects, and Hope is no different. That level-headedness combined with an undoubted ability to score goals, put Hallam Hope in line to be the next front man off their already impressive production line.

Reader Comments

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Jamie Barlow
1   Posted 14/04/2011 at 15:58:12

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Not related Michael but who's the picture of next to the reserves story?
Mark Murphy
2   Posted 14/04/2011 at 15:57:53

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So he's not as strong in the air as Anichebe???

I'll try not to get too excited then.
Mark Murphy
3   Posted 14/04/2011 at 16:03:56

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Isnt that Mikael Forssell?
Jamie Barlow
4   Posted 14/04/2011 at 16:04:57

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Yeah, it is Mark. Didn't know we'd signed him.
Liam Reilly
5   Posted 14/04/2011 at 15:57:36

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We can't afford to buy, fair enough, but we need to keep these prospects at the club and build a team for the future; Rodwell, Duffy, Baxter, Garbutt et al and maybe this guy, not put them on a Production Line so they can be cherry picked.

This close season could go a long to defining this clubs future. Sell the crown jewels to pay the debts and we'll reach a new low.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
6   Posted 14/04/2011 at 16:19:10

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Shit, you guys are good... Nothing gets past ya!

I was looking for one of Adam Forshaw but that bugger musta crept in by mistake.
Graeme Hodgkinson
7   Posted 14/04/2011 at 16:23:12

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The unfortunate thing about optimistic and promising reports such as this is that it brings to light a very raw talent.

I've little doubt that in the coming months, partly as a result of this article, people on here (and elsewhere i'm sure) will call upon Moyes to put him on the bench and in the first team, to get him some experience at the top level.

The benefits of this are debatable, but for me (and without wanting to be 'too Doddy'), Moyes has a proven track record of holding back players until he knows they are ready. See Baines, Coleman, Bily, and Rooney, to an extent, for examples.

I hope this doesnt lead to overly premature calls for this lad to be 'the next Wayne Rooney'...let nature take its course. But hears to hoping he's, well...the next Wayne Rooney I guess!
Neil Humphreys
8   Posted 14/04/2011 at 18:07:14

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How much will we get for him???
Neil Humphreys
9   Posted 14/04/2011 at 18:10:22

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Sorry if the above seems cynical, but if he's any good, clearly we will sell him. Nil Status, Nil Optimism...
Paul Knox
10   Posted 14/04/2011 at 18:31:13

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So its hope for us all,can he get into the first team early,hope so
Gerry Quinn
11   Posted 14/04/2011 at 18:51:33

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Any relation to Bob Hope?
Barry Thompson
12   Posted 14/04/2011 at 18:57:46

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Fingers crossed his first name doesn't turn into " Morein".
Richard Harris
13   Posted 14/04/2011 at 19:33:09

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Well if Moyes doesn't rate him then it will be 'Lostall' Hope and if he is the next Anichebe then it will be 'No' Hope...
Alan Clarke
14   Posted 14/04/2011 at 20:08:14

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Hallam's godfather is a decorator who's worked on my house (I'm shite with a brush). Nice guy, showed me all the press cuttings of Hallam over the past few years. He speaks really highly of how well Hallam is treated by Everton and he loves it there.

Apparently Hallam has been tapped up by every agent and every other club in the North West already and his dad is a big Man U fan. Hallam isn't arsed, he just loves playing footy and loves it at Everton especially as he gets to train alongside and has had a lot of contact with the first team from a young age. He also reckons he's a far better chance of making it into the first team if he stays at Everton.

I do think Everton get it right when it comes to nurturing the youth. Lets hope Hallam stays with us past his 21st birthday.
Howard Don
15   Posted 14/04/2011 at 20:12:41

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Fingers crossed for the lad Michael. Worth remembering Rooney's not the tallest, neither was Jeffers if it comes to that.
Dean Adams
16   Posted 14/04/2011 at 20:34:34

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Dont care how good he is in the air, just so long as he uses his head and stays in our ranks for the forseeable future. The finishing touches will come naturally if he is as good as people say.
Jon Cox
17   Posted 14/04/2011 at 20:41:30

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Nice one but I prefer "abandon all hope ye who enter here" :-)
Stephen Leary
18   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:02:19

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He will play a few games before being sold by Bill. I've seen him play at the Milk Cup and for the reserves, he is better than Jeffers was and a completely different type of forward to Rooney.
Jamie Crowley
19   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:16:36

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I call for Moyes to start him Saturday!
Dick Fearon
20   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:31:18

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What a hopeless lot some of you are, I am a bit more hopeful.
Brendan O'Doherty
21   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:33:09

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Very encouraging piece.

Peter Laing
22   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:36:30

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I've got a nephew at the academy and having visited the Academy on a number of occasions I cannot speak highly enough of both the coaching and facilities on offer at Finch Farm. It appears to be the one element that Everton seems to be suceeding at ? and given our perilous financial position may continue to be our long term salvation al la Ball, Jeffers and Rooney.
Tony McNulty
23   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:39:15

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Don't wish to urinate on a parade but previously has anyone ever seen anything remotely linked to the planet earth on
Jamie Sweet
24   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:41:35

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So now we've got three Hopes of a brighter future.

No hope.

Bob Hope.

Hallam Hope.
Steve Bryant
25   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:50:17

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Listen Guys - This is what being an Evertonian is all about - NEVER give up Hope. And if he's as good as they are making out, let's hope we never do.......
Michael Kenrick
26   Posted 14/04/2011 at 22:17:37

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And one Hope out on loan (of course!)

That would be Hope Akpan!
Glen Anderson
27   Posted 14/04/2011 at 21:55:03

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I've been tracking this kid for a while (at risk of making myself sound very dodgy here) and he does appear to be doing the business at club and national team levels.

Still very young and really hard to know which way his development will take him.

I think FourFourTwo is very premature in bigging him up since he is still to do anything of note and is still some way off knocking on the first team door. McAleny is the striker closest to the first team door (on the bench for the last couple of games), Hope is just one of several in the academy learning the ropes.

I sincerely do hope (no pun intended) that he comes good with time but he could probably do without this level of hype and just keep his head down and continue to learn off the academy coaches.
Gavin Ramejkis
28   Posted 15/04/2011 at 00:34:39

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If he does turn out to be any good and Billy Bullshitter sticks around (which I can't see changing) come contract extension and sticking around at Everton time his first name will change to "Not A".
Craig Tomasinski
29   Posted 15/04/2011 at 01:22:50

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Looks like there is a little Ray of Hope... Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Good little story in any case and good to hear how some of the younger ones in the academy are going. For the ones that go watch any academy games are there any other youngsters that catch the eye and could have a future?
Eric Myles
30   Posted 15/04/2011 at 08:32:38

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Graeme #7, I'm sure 'Doddy' wouldn't have made the mistake of forgetting that Baines was already an established Premier League player when we signed him and Bily was an established international playing for Russia?

Unless you were referring to Ken Dodd that is?
Eric Myles
31   Posted 15/04/2011 at 08:36:31

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I remember a certain little curly Alan Ball wasn't too good with his head, so much so that he was given a 5 Quid bonus for every goal he scored as a header.
Paul Knox
32   Posted 14/04/2011 at 18:31:13

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So it's hope for us all, can he get into the first team early? Hope so...
Derek Thomas
33   Posted 15/04/2011 at 09:39:32

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Roy Vernon had trials with a number of clubs, including Everton. But, as seems the case now (Jags, Baines and others ) and in 1952-53, we dithered and had to pay a pretty tidy wedge for those days when we eventually signed him in 1960.

I think one of the reasons that Carey as able to sign him was he was manager at Blackburn prior to Everton and so had some sort of relationship with him.

I hope History doesn't repeat it's self.
Ciarán McGlone
34   Posted 15/04/2011 at 14:06:55

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I saw Halam him in the Milk Cup a few years ago... he scored a hat-trick if I remember rightly. Very promising talent.
Graeme Hodgkinson
35   Posted 15/04/2011 at 18:01:08

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Eric #30

I think its widely accepted that although Baines was well established in the Wigan first team, he still had much development to take place before being able to hold down a first team place at Everton. Indeed, it was a centre half in the shape of Lescott that was keeping him out most of the time.

As for Bily, I'd say nearly two years later, the well established Russian is still adjusting, developing and being eased in to the way of English football... and quite rightly too. He isn't quite ready yet.
Gavin Fennessy
36   Posted 15/04/2011 at 19:57:26

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Thanks for a good positive piece on a promising youngster, Michael. Now if we could only find a future strike partner with the surname "Hit"........

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