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Our Bright Future

By Chris Bentham :  28/06/2011 :  Comments (30) :

I, like most Evertonians, wake up in the morning and immediately turn to the internet in search of the latest Everton gossip. Are we being linked with anyone? Which player is Harry Redknapp trying to poach on the cheap etc. etc... Only to be met with the same dull attempt from the media trying to manufacture some Everton news to fill the pages. The trouble is, there appears to be nothing on the western front.

Next, I turn to the fan articles on ToffeeWeb (and contributors who can articulate much better than me, it?s my first attempt guys). There seems to be so much negativity knocking about, either directed at our Chairman/decision makers or Moyes for his inability to be decisive (some would agree with his careful approach, me included).

The attempt of my article is to bring some sunshine into our lives and regain some excitement for the new season. What started this rejuvenation of hope was Tim Cahill?s interview were he stated Ross Barkley was ?...the most talented young player he?s ever seen!? What? I thought that?s some statement from Timmy so I went a bit further and looked at what our potential could be over the next few years... the results made the hairs on my neck stand up and produced a big smile on my mush...

Are you sitting down? This list of our up-and-coming young stars does not include the current first team:?

GK ? Adam Davies (was injured as a youngster, now fit highly thought of), age 19;

LB ? Jake Bidwell (capped for England U17s), age 18;
Luke Garbutt (capped for England U19s), age 18;

CB ? Shkodran Mustafi (capped for Germany U17s), age 19;
Shane Duffy (Northern Ireland U21s and Republic of Ireland), age 19;
Johann Hamar (capped for Sweden U17s), age 17;

RB ? Tyias Browning (capped for England U17s), age 17;

MF ? James Wallace (first team debut in Europa Cup), age 19;
Adam Forshaw (first team debut in Europa cup) age 19;
John Lundstram (currently with England at U17 World Cup), age 17
Ross Barkley (capped for England U17, Tim Cahill?s favourite player), age 18;
Magaye Gueye (capped for France U17s, U19s, U21s), age 19;

FW ? Joao Silva (capped for Portugal U21s), age 21;
Conor McAleny, age 18
Apostolos Vellios (Greece U17s, U21s), age 19;
Jose Baxter (capped at England U17s, youngest Everton scorer), age 19;
Hallam Hope (currently with England at U17s World Cup) age 17.

If you actually study the rich talent currently in the youth and reserve set-up, the future looks very bright indeed for our beloved football club. The coaches at the club including Moyes deserve a lot of credit for this.
Also the Decision to move the Academy to Finch Farm has clearly had a massive effect on our young players and the ability to bring some top talent from around the world to the club.

In my mind when fit we already have a highly talented first team squad capable of pushing the top 4, also including youngsters like Fellaini, Rodwell, Coleman and Anichebe.

The key phrase is when fit, so the sale of 2 or 3 fringe players and the purchase of a winger with pace and a decent striker combined with the young players at the club all bodes well for a healthy future and if 5 or 6 realise their potential at the same time à la Man Utd, well who knows!?!

The Future is bright; the future is Blue?.. COYB!

Reader Comments

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Trevor Mackie
1   Posted 28/06/2011 at 16:33:37

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I can see Moyes now thinking

"fergie did it with Beckham and Co..SOD IT...I'll give it a go".

Dick Anderson
2   Posted 28/06/2011 at 16:36:19

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How is Jose Baxter the youngest Everton scorer? He's never scored for the club, or am I wrong??
Simon Williams
3   Posted 28/06/2011 at 16:36:50

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i sincerely hope you're right.

I somehow doubt all (in fact most) of these names will be seen on a bench near us anytime soon though.

Thanks for sharing your optimism however, it is nice to see.
David O'Keefe
4   Posted 28/06/2011 at 16:36:17

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Chris, you have good intentions and now here is the shouldn't give people false hope.

Dick Anderson
5   Posted 28/06/2011 at 16:38:08

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You forgot a couple from your list:-

Lucas Jutkiewicz - Signed from Swindon highly regarded.

No wait Jutkiewicz now plys his trade in the Championship.

Hope Akpan - 19 year old midfielder made his debut in the Europa League.

No wait Akpan has just been signed by League 2 side Crawley.

Kieran Agard - Originally from the Arsenal youth system. Highly regarded. Has played in both Europa and Premiership for Everton.

No wait Agard was released by Everton and now plays for League one side Yeovil.

John Paul Kissock - Played regulary for England U16 and U18. Tipped as future star.

No wait Kissock is now playing for non-league side Southport.
Jay Harris
6   Posted 28/06/2011 at 16:40:11

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Chris, I hate to put a dampener on your argument but only a tiny minority of youth players ever make it in the Prem with their existing clubs.

West Ham are the best example (as Man Utd poached or bought theirs from other clubs) with Rio Ferdinand, Anton Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Glenn Johnson etc but (as you might expect with us) they were all sold on to "bigger" clubs to help balance the books.

Finch Farm or not... and high expectations or not, the only exceptional talent we have produced in the last 10 years is Wayne Rooney with honourable mentions for Jack Rodwell (recent times), Tony Hibbert, and Leon Osman (10 years ago).

Although you are trying to put a positive spin on things, these are without doubt dark days to be an Evertonian.
Phil Martin
7   Posted 28/06/2011 at 17:18:09

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I applaud the positive article, Chris. I truly hope one or two of those names make it big for us. If only to balance the books in a few years time.
Jamie Barlow
8   Posted 28/06/2011 at 17:41:57

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Nice post Chris. I hope to see some of these kids making an impression next season. A bit of positivity on Toffeeweb. Woohoo!!!!!
Sam Hoare
9   Posted 28/06/2011 at 18:02:55

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Good effort Chris. Love the positivity!

The naysayers are right in that most of the time these 'highly thought' of prospects come to nothing. However this is a particularly promising batch and i would be surprised if one or two out of Garbutt, Barkley, Lundstram, Hope, Gueye and Vellios aren't featuring for the first team regualrly in the next 4 or 5 years.
Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 28/06/2011 at 19:06:17

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I really hope we do have at least one player coming through but have heard about stars of the future for years only for them to be released en masse and disappear very quickly. My worry is that any players who do make it will make a token set of appearances before being sold to service debts.
Sean Patton
11   Posted 28/06/2011 at 19:12:50

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The best youth team in the country and brimming with potential, it makes me laugh when certain media outlets rave over the so called Kop Kids, who arent even the best youth team in the city never mind anywhere else.

The current team are certainly the best group of prospects since the 1998 crop which won the FA Youth Cup and produced Osman, Dunne, Ball, Jeffers and Hibbert for the first team.

There is no reason to think that a similar number of these lads can make the first team. As Dick points out, a lot of Everton youngsters are over-hyped so perhaps a bit of caution is best, Baxter being the current one as I really don't see him as Premier League standard.
Steve Edwards
12   Posted 28/06/2011 at 19:23:39

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Bloody hell Chris, is that the best you can do. You've made me even more depressed!

Hands up those of you who don't expect anything to happen until the last few days of the transfer window. Even then it will only be to replace someone who has been sold. We'll then get pipped at the post for a player by some giant of a club like Stoke or Sunderland and end up buying some kid who nobody as even heard of. This kid is then put on the bench for a few games and then disappears almost without trace. Sound familiar. I bet I'm not far wrong.

By the way, whatever happened to Jack Rodwell? Future captain of England? I wish Man Utd would have come in for him twelve months ago. Not much interest in him now unfortunatley.
Eugene Ruane
13   Posted 28/06/2011 at 19:39:51

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Couldn't be less excited about our 'rich talent'

After Rooney, nobody should be, because we know (nb: 100% FUCKING KNOW!) that as long as things stay as they are, anyone coming through who was REALLY good would be flogged sharpish to pay the bank.

Seriously, why torture yourself?

Marc Williams
14   Posted 28/06/2011 at 20:47:54

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Chris 'it's my first attempt guys' Bentham ?

Nah... You are Phil Neville in disguise.

He's the only one to spout this 'Bright future' shite at this time of year !

Why don't you go round your brothers new 'Teletubby' house & watch mManure DVD's instead.
Chris Bentham
15   Posted 28/06/2011 at 20:51:08

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Glad some of you took that with a pinch of salt. Truth is with not much transfer funds, youth may well get a chance. I for one look forward to the pre-season games to see who might be close to the first team.

As for signings, I've resigned myself to the fact that we have to wait till someone buys our players before we are in a position to move. As has been stated before, Everton are maxed out with creditors but it was said that we actually manage our available credit quite well (I think that means we've used it all).

Until the right investors come along, I'm afraid we might have to sell one of the prized assets. Plenty of top European clubs have done it when the Premier League have waved there wallets so who says that'd be a bad thing? I seem to remember the Rooney money putting us into 4th and the Lescott money coming in pretty handy too.

Chris Bannantyne
16   Posted 28/06/2011 at 23:17:35

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Hmmm. I think we will be relegated in the next few years. We are moving backwards. No buying, no selling, players get older as does the stadium.

We're fucked.
Eric Myles
17   Posted 29/06/2011 at 04:06:21

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Chris, you don't happen to have the same doctor as Richard Dodd do you... because you seem to be on the same medication?
Derek Thomas
18   Posted 29/06/2011 at 07:45:38

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Yes I know it comes from the Daily Star and Bill Kenwright... aka Pravda and Isvestia, News and Truth and the Russians had a saying, "There's no news in The Truth and no truth in The News."

But it would be scarily typical of our Management (or lack of):?

Yobo out for £4mill and Wes Brown in for £4mill

Only at Everton??
Kevin Jones
19   Posted 29/06/2011 at 09:41:44

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Going along nicely there Chris enjoying your obvious optimism for the future, and then like a thunderbolt, I read the last players name on your post. Anic, Anich, Aniche no can't bring myself to type his name, tick's blinks and laugh's nervously like Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther Movies, deep breath's Kev in out, in out, calm calm it's only another 4 1/2 years.
Stephen Kenny
20   Posted 29/06/2011 at 10:55:43

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The likelihood is that most of those players will not make it long term at Everton.

The other likelihood is that our next great player will be one we probably don't hear too much about, with the amount of poaching that goes on these days, something we are as guilty as any for!

The promising thing is that should four or five really good player's come through at around the same time it could really, seriously alter the future direction of the club. It's probably the only thing that could alter it as things stand.

This squad's major players are mostly around the 30 mark now and Moyes has shown no inclination to sell before they lose value. Something I think is a big mistake considering the scant resources at his disposal.

What this means is that for us to stay at our current level of performance or better it we need the kids from the academy to reach the levels of the likes of Jagielka, Arteta (not last season) and Cahill. A big ask IMO.
Ted Smeethes
21   Posted 29/06/2011 at 13:03:42

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We should be be mindful of the future but not at the expense of the present.
Trevor Lynes
22   Posted 29/06/2011 at 14:30:53

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Not to put too much of a dampener on things youthful... BUT what's the chances we will BUY back one or two of the players we have dumped?? Like we did with Jagielka and Baines.

Our youth policy is no better than any other teams...Middlesboro' had a really bright bunch of youngsters ? now where are they???

If the odd one or two break through in the next FIVE years, it will be a bonus... BUT what do we do about NEXT season??? Nero (BK) is playing with his instrument while Rome (Goodison) burns... FFS get some new blood into the team before we slide into obscurity!!!

Stephen Leary
23   Posted 29/06/2011 at 15:02:51

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We will throw a few of them in only for that fantastic chairman and board of ours to flog them when Manure or Citeh come calling. Rodwell's departure won't be long off... add that to Rooney, Jeffers, Ball, Dunne just off the top of my head who we have cashed in at on the first attempt.

Hallam Hope is a really good youngster as is Ross Barkley... I'm hoping the injury he suffered doesn't set him back much. As for the others, Wallace and Forshaw from what I have seen are not going to improve us. As Trevor says, we need new blood in and fast, as I saw in a previous article, an excellent point was made: if we do suffer injuries, our squad size now can't cope with it and, if we don't have our usual New Year turn around, we really would be in trouble.
Paul Thompson
24   Posted 29/06/2011 at 16:50:26

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Imagine if we had a shite youth team - we'd be getting, "Why can't we find good youth players like everybody else? Moyes/Kenwright/the scouts/the guides are useless."

It's ridiculous throwing in examples of where young players haven't made it at Everton. This is the same at every club. You invest in a lot to get a few coming through - the rest you can move on or sell on.

It is harder to breakthrough these days. Clubs can comb the world for talent and think short term. In this they are often backed by (some) fans with little patience who are quite prepared to barrack young and/or local talent if they are not instant successes.

Given the strength and diversity of our current youth squad and promising fringe players such as Gueuye, I think there is a reasonable expectation that a crop of 3 or 4 will make it through to the first team. I amy be wrong, but even the gloom merchants must hope that I (and Chris Bentham) are right.
Trevor Lynes
25   Posted 29/06/2011 at 17:15:19

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I cannot see us finishing any higher than last season at best... probably below top 10 is more realistic if we do not stop the stagnation evident at the club. If we cannot compete with Wolves who are already making moves in the transfer hurly burly and other sides of similar ilk in the Premier League who are actually buying and making bids, then where are we ??

How a club with our loyal fan base home and away cannot afford an annual transfer budget I do not know !!
Its as BK doubtless says every evening at show time.... it will be alright on the night!!!

Paul Doyle
26   Posted 29/06/2011 at 19:21:12

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No doubt after reading this, a smiling Bill Kenwright while pulling on his wire will be thinking, "Flog a couple of these each year, the bank will be happy, Phil gets a bit of his poke back, I keep my spec in the main stand, and Ginger Nuts can fuck about with Osman and Hibbert for the forseeable cos these soft cunts will swallow anything..."
Mark Stone
27   Posted 30/06/2011 at 13:21:27

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You seen Jose play recently Sean? I have, and I have to disagree with you. He'll be knocking on the door in 2011-12.
Mark Stone
28   Posted 30/06/2011 at 16:20:12

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I wish we had more fans like Paul Thompson
Sean Patton
29   Posted 30/06/2011 at 20:14:45

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The last time I saw Baxter was against Bolton, so not that recently, but I just feel he won't make it here.

As he is a small lad, he needs either speed, skill or strength to get ahead. Again, my opinion: I don't think he has any of these; he does have enough about him to have a career in football but I don't believe it will be with Everton or at this level.

This season will be all about Barkley pushing Baxter back further.
Ian Tunstead
30   Posted 30/06/2011 at 22:12:50

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So Sean you make your whole assessment on 2 minutes of football against Bolton and write off an 18/19 year old just like that? Unless you go to reserve or youth games you have no right to make such a judgement.

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