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Hope and the Future

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Just thought with all the doom and gloom from some Everton fans there looks like we may have a ray of hope with our youth set-up. Hallam Hope and John Lundstram are performing well with the England Under-17s... Ross Barkley [not 'Barclay', that's the Bank] the supposed next big star and yet our youth team reach the Youth Cup Final without any of them... so surely the future looks bright.

Having watched a couple of the England Under-17s games, there is a real prospect of Hope and Lundstram going the whole way... so, with Barkley as well there's 3 lads should wear the Blue. Now I've only seen Bidwell against Bate Borisov in Europa but I thought he looks useful so can anyone tell me are there other lads you think could make it from our youth set-up? And do you think we have a bright future? I'm always the optimist for Everton as long as they give a 100%.
Tony Cornmell, Perth, Western Australia     Posted 10/05/2011 at 03:30:47

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Gavin Ramejkis
1   Posted 10/05/2011 at 07:20:35

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Tony, I'll hold my hand up as one of your so-called doom-and-gloom merchants and despite thinking it a melodramatic label I'll explain why. For several years we have heard about players who made England youth squads only to be discarded as they progressed, an example being Ste Schumacher who did look like he was going to be good only to be released and disappear.

How many times have you heard about players supposedly going to be the next big thing? How many players from the youth squad have actually had first team games? If it wasn't for injuries and pitiful squad size, do you honestly believe some of our bench warmers would have been there? If a 17/18 year old is that good, they should be playing for the first team ? remember how old Rooney was scoring against Arsenal or Vaughan against Palace? I haven't seen anything like it.

The only players that have come close to the first team from the youth setup don't look like they could cause much impact so I'll stick with my original stance that I'll expect most to disappear, released by the club.
James I'Anson
2   Posted 10/05/2011 at 07:52:44

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I agree Gavin. What I have always wondered is, if most of the promising players fall by the wayside, where on earth do the players that actually make it come from? If anyone knows, drop DM a line.

Tony, at least one of the mentioned players has got to make it otherwise we're fucked. How else will we balance the books?
Nick Wall
3   Posted 10/05/2011 at 08:19:09

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I think I can safely say that we will be hearing a lot more about Hallam Hope. He's only just turned 17, and he already has a very impressive scoring record at international level.

I managed to dig up this interesting piece about him from a year ago - http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/hallams-hope-in-striking-distance/ . Unfortunately, it seems that his dream is to play someday for Manchester United!
Kevin Gillen
4   Posted 10/05/2011 at 08:20:55

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Youth football is changing. I expect a number of these kids to make it. Hope, Lundstram, Garbutt and Barkley can all make it to the first team. I know in the past we have seen many wunderkids disappear from football all together in spite of England Schoolboy honours (O'Connor, Milligan etc.) but the bigger Premier League clubs all have their own development programmes running much more effectively than in the past.

Being involved in youth football coaching and development myself, I am convinced youth development is the way forward for Everton and we have a much better record than most. The number of kids leaving Everton's academy and finding a career in football in the lower leagues has also improved over the years.

Steven Schumacher banged in a few excellent goals last weekend and is the captain of promoted Bury! (see the goals here http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/13247216.stm) John Ruddy got promoted to the Prem with Norwich. I just hope we don't have to spend £10m getting back the likes of Baines and Jagielka after releasing them or miss out on young Evertonians like Carragher, Owen, Fowler etc. I also hope we don't sell our outstanding youth talent; watching Rooney waltz around Shalke and Chelsea in the past few weeks still makes me sick.

Liam Reilly
5   Posted 10/05/2011 at 08:57:41

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Kevn #4
Yup, I'm half expecting Ruddy to come back to Goodison next year and turn in a storming performance. I thought we let him go too soon, probably end up buying him back in a few years.

Everton have one of the best youth development programmes in the country and with no cash, is the future of the club.

2 games left, nothing to play for. I hope we see youth given a chance.
Andrew Ellams
6   Posted 10/05/2011 at 09:55:48

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Liam, what is the evidence of this. Compared with the players Liverpool have coming through at the moment we are miles behind. Just becuase they are sitting on the bench, it doesn't mean that they are good enough, it's just a reflection of our paper thin squad.
Tommy Gourlay
7   Posted 10/05/2011 at 09:58:34

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I gate crashed the Manny Fernandes topic about this - so sorry for repeating it but this is a more appropriate place for it - Hallum Hope scored a ridiculously gorgeous goal against Serbia in the U17s. It was from almost the corner of the 18 yard box, Hope turned and instantly shot into the opposite top corner.

I personally am still holding out hope for Forshaw and Wallace to make it also, I know Wallace is playing down in League 2 just now but he seems to be one of the dominant players in every game he plays. (mind you I was still holding out hope for Lewis Codling last year....)
Alan Clarke
8   Posted 10/05/2011 at 10:26:58

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I remember seeing Baxter score a stunning goal pre-season away at Forest 2 years ago. I thought, here we go, we've got something special here. He's not even really had a sniff since then.

One thing that gets me is we don't even recoup any money for our youth products. Other teams at least get some money in from their failed youth products wheras our just fade completely. Do you remember the next Rooney - Scot Sinclair? Where is he now?
Andrew Ellams
9   Posted 10/05/2011 at 10:42:21

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I think you mean Scott Spencer, Alan. He was at Colchester but I have a feeling he has been released. Another lower league journeyman like Phil Jevons and Michael Branch.
Peter Dancer
10   Posted 10/05/2011 at 10:49:18

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This is the area of Everton that makes me most proud at the moment. We clearly have a great youth set up, regardless of what some people are saying on here.

Look at our first team and see who've come through the ranks. Rodwell, Coleman, Osman etc.

Then take a quick look at the reserve and academy teams on the OS. That makes me excited. There is so much good talent coming through which, if Moyes gives them a chance, could prove to be very successfull for our club.

I know I'd rather look at it that way than negatively, lifes too short!

Key question here is what I said earlier; IF MOYES GIVES THEM A CHANCE.
Andrew Ellams
11   Posted 10/05/2011 at 11:02:14

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Peter, Osman and Hibbert are both from the class of '98 and Coleman was bought not developed, as was Dan Gosling. Between that I can only think of Rooney and Jeffers that were any good and then on to Rodwell. Not totally inspiring.
Charlie Dixon
12   Posted 10/05/2011 at 11:08:34

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Ste (7), band on mate!

I reckon we're in a fantatsic position moving forward. I think it's imperative that we keep Eric Dier as he and Mustafi look the real deal (not forgetting Duffy). Just to get all FM on you, fast forward 5 years:

Davies,
Mustafi, Duffy, Dier, Garbutt
Coleman, Rodwell, Barkley, Fellaini, Gueye, Hope

Bench: Vellios, Bidwell, Lundstram, McAleny, Baxter, Wallace, Anichebe

Onward Evertonians, don't let your hearts be low. Remember that our song for Wembley is... "WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!"
Charlie Dixon
13   Posted 10/05/2011 at 11:14:39

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Band on?!

Got too excited
Glen Anderson
14   Posted 10/05/2011 at 11:37:33

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There's a decent article about the talent coming through here:

http://theexecutionersbong.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/everton-academy-5-to-watch

It's a little bit sugar coated and the perspective is definitely through blue tinted specs but I couldn't help but get excited about the prospects who appear to be coming through at the same age group. We haven't had this much quality come through all at once in years so I'm really hoping that a handful of the current crop come through to bolster our squad.
Alan Clarke
15   Posted 10/05/2011 at 12:03:05

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Sorry, I did mean Spencer, that's how anonymous he was!
Peter Dancer
16   Posted 10/05/2011 at 12:57:35

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@ Andrew (14) Yes Coleman was bought, but in 2006 and still spent 4 further years in our Reserves setup (which to me sounds like development).

I kind of include these 'bought for the future players' in the youngsters coming through. Players like Garbutt, Mustafi, Vellios etc. They still spend a time with our Reserve setup plus also show the commitment our club has to brining through young players (whether their homegrown or recently bought).

I don't really make the distinction: as far as I'm concerned, they are Everton players with good prospects.

Tony J Williams
17   Posted 10/05/2011 at 13:13:55

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We bought him from Sligo Rovers in 2009 Peter. Did you mean someone else?
Peter Dancer
18   Posted 10/05/2011 at 13:22:34

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@ Tony Woops. Thats me reading FROM not FOR in this para on the OS:

"Coleman signed for Sligo Rovers in 2006 having begun his career at hometown side Killybegs".

I stand corrected.

The point remains that bought or not we have a good mix of lads coming through.
Sam Hoare
19   Posted 10/05/2011 at 13:19:49

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I for one get very excited about young players. Especially now we're skint!!

I think Kevin @4 makes a good point in that youth football has changed a lot over the last decade. Particularly at U-18 level, it is now felt that kids are given better training and that technically they are now on a level with their French, German and of course Spanish counterparts.

This should result in more of the highly rated players going on to decent careers so long as they stay focussed on and off the pitch... and that a big proviso!!

I for one will be very surprised if we don't see Barkley, Garbutt, Bidwell, Hope and Lundstram having some notable first team influence between them over the next 3 seasons. There's no certainties but I think we have a good crop here, let's hope the harvest reaches its potential.

On a side note, I believe Eric Dier will be going back to Sporting Lisbon after the U-18s final... but I'm guessing he's had a good taste of toffee.
Peter Dancer
20   Posted 10/05/2011 at 13:35:39

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There does seem to be more potential coming through than in the past. Even up to when Vaughn and Vic came through it seemed to be 1/2 players every few seasons now its a minimum of 1 a season and hopefully more.
Jay Harris
21   Posted 10/05/2011 at 14:00:58

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You have to remeber two things about youth level:

1: It is a significant distance from Premier League standard which is why some of the Tranmeres of this world turn up players more developed and suited to the Premier League than youth players who stay in the Everton Academy.

2. There are numerous temptations (drugs,drink, women, gambling etc) for youth players and their bodies are still developing; also, despite being talented, they may not be good trainers. The Premier League standards are such that only the most talented and superbly fit will make the breakthrough.

I think every youth level player should spend at least half a season in League One (old Division 3) and then, if they prove themselves, half a season in the Championship (old Division 2).

The likes of Rooney are one-offs and are identified at a very young age.
Mark Stone
22   Posted 10/05/2011 at 14:47:56

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"If a 17/18 year old is that good they should be playing for the first team"

Sorry Gavin, but that is just wrong. If a player is 17 or 18 and breaking into the first team it is probably because he is world class. Its not unusual for players to be in the early 20's by the time they make an impact on the first team - especially in the premier league! How old was Coleman when he got a game for Everton? Do you think he would have been good enough 5 years ago (when he was 17)? Also how old were players like Cahill, Lescott, Jagielka, Baines when they made their PREMIER LEAGUE debut? 17/18? No.
James Stewart
23   Posted 10/05/2011 at 17:02:48

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The problem these lot face is the fact that at that age some are vastly more advanced in their development than others. Most catch up however so the ones shining brightest at 16/17 won't always be leaps and bounds ahead of their peers. Rooney was a one-off and his talent was obvious. Barkley is the one that will break through in a similar way but I doubt the others will.
Michael Kenrick
24   Posted 10/05/2011 at 16:57:31

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Not much news of that lad, Abe Donzo, who won the Soccer Dreams thing Everton were involved with in the USA a while back. I see he's still listed as being at the Everton Academy but he's not played for the Under-18s yet... oh, and his Wikipedia page has been deleted.

ps: this is NOT the FA Youth Cup Final the lads will be playing in; it's the FA Premier Youth League National Play-Off Final. I see that it will be played at the Reebok sometime on Friday, so we need to start the campaign to get people over there and support them... Fulham and Sunderland have just kicked off the other semi-final.

pps: Everton did very poorly in this year's FA Youth Cup, going out at the second hurdle. Everton last won the Youth Cup in 1998... when the team featured: Hibbert, Dunne, Osman, Jeffers and Cadamarteri.
Glen Anderson
25   Posted 10/05/2011 at 17:51:41

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Michael, no news on Abe in a while. There is a Facebook page dedicated to him here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abe-Donzo/130947790278650 with Wiki-esque commentary and the episode of the TV program in which he was informed he'd won is here. http://wn.com/Abe_Donzo We get to see him in the clip from 3:33 onwards. No news found at all via official Everton sources but we can't sign him on a professional contract until he is 18 I believe.
Gavin Ramejkis
26   Posted 10/05/2011 at 18:04:41

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Mark #22 your argument doesn't hold water, how old was Coleman when he played first team for Everton? Given he was 20 before Everon signed him it's unlikely that Moyes has a Tardis to make him play for us at 17 does it?

Your World Class doesn't hold up either unless you are claiming Vaughan, the current youngest goal scorer in the Premier League, who couldn't get a game for love nor money at Everton but played first team at 17. There are plenty of players in the Premier League who also played at 17-18 and I don't think many would be called World Class.

Jose Baxter hadn't even turned 17 ? is he World Class? James Milner took Shrek's youngest goalscorer record off him before Vaughan took it back ? is he World Class?

Mark Stone
27   Posted 12/05/2011 at 22:49:22

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Well he's worth £30m so can't be too bad.

As for for Vaughan and Baxter they were put in too early because of injuries. Neither were good enough at that point. As for Coleman, neither was he good enough to playt in the premier leagu aged 17 - or he would never have been so cheap/playing in the irish league aged 20.

Just because a player doesn't play in the premier league until they are out of their teens doesn't mean they will never be good enough. To suggest otherwise is absurd.

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