Kieran Dowell was buzzing after making his full Everton debut against Norwich on Saturday and he says he now wants to hit the ground running next season so he can be involved in first-team football, either back in the first team or out on loan.
The 18-year-old got his much-anticipated first start in the final match of the season and rewarded David Unsworth's faith in him by playing a part in two of the Blues' three goals before making way for Ross Barkley in the second half.
Alongside his fellow Academy graduates Tom Davies, Matthew Pennington and Jonjoe Kenny, Dowell illustrated the strength of the crop of youngsters who are now on the cusp of the senior side with their impressive displays in what was an uplifting game to close out a poor season.
“I got a little hint [that I would be playing] leading up to the game,' Dowell said in the Liverpool Echo. “I told my mum and dad, but I didn't tell anyone else.
“There were loads of my family and friends here today. We didn't confirm to them that I was starting but said just come in case. It was unbelievable.
“I keep saying, it was one of the best days of my life. The reception from the fans was unbelievable and to start was like a dream.
“It felt proper. No disrespect to Krasnodar, but that was a dead-rubber and today was with the full team and it just felt proper with a full stadium. It was brilliant.”
The close season promises to be one of significant change at Everton, with a new managerial appointment in the offing following the sacking of Roberto Martinez and the expected departure of a number of players.
Dowell will be hopeful of being part of the new boss's plans but he knows that regardless of who succeeds Martinez, pre-season will be important.
“It's all about pre-season in the summer, how the manager feels and it's up to him,” Dowell continued. I want to be playing games no matter what, whether that be here or on loan, I don't mind. But the aim is to hit the ground running next season.”
Reader Comments (23)
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1 Posted 18/05/2016 at 07:07:22
Dowell and Kenny looked the real deal against Norwich, but I thought that Tom Davies was outstanding. Ross will have to up his game with this exciting 17 year old clipping at his heels.
2 Posted 18/05/2016 at 07:58:05
What is also heartening is the academy has lots of local lads who are quality. We seems to scout the best locally and then develop well.
The academy coaches / scouts deserve lots of praise for their work.
3 Posted 18/05/2016 at 08:12:56
4 Posted 18/05/2016 at 08:44:56
5 Posted 18/05/2016 at 08:57:08
6 Posted 18/05/2016 at 09:23:44
7 Posted 18/05/2016 at 09:43:42
Charlie#2 your right the the scouts, and the coaches do deserve s lot of praise.
I hope I'm right and not dreaming, I really believe we have more than a few, who are ready to be involved with the first team.
If your good enough your old enough. COYB.
8 Posted 18/05/2016 at 09:57:02
Give them a break FFS.
You hear me???
9 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:40:22
10 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:47:15
Dowell; Kenny; Davies; Connolly; Pennington; Garbutt, Holgate; Galloway; to name just a few. If these boys plus others come through and make a name for themselves at EFC, we have a fantastic future.
11 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:51:59
Again, of course, it's a matter of building them all up properly and, indeed, being patient. Genuinely exciting though.
12 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:56:56
A few months in the Championship will toughen them up, and it can only do them good. Patience is needed here folks....
The future is certainly bright and its Blue.
13 Posted 18/05/2016 at 12:43:53
As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.
14 Posted 18/05/2016 at 13:33:23
There have been lots of kids that break through and then fall short we all raved about Duffy, Forshaw, Baxter and Wallace when they came through, but all fell short of Premier League standard. Barkley is the exception not the rule and we bought Stones and Galloway, so he remains the only true first-team academy prospect of the last decade.
Being hyper-critical for the sake of argument, I thought Dowell was smashing with the ball at his feet, but lacked a little bit of awareness at times. He was also more reluctant than others to get back behind the ball. Still a fantastic prospect, but he needs to get stronger without losing his pace with the ball (try and be more Ronaldo).
Tom Davies is outstanding. He needs to build up and I hope he doesn't fade when he loses that youthful enthusiasm. His awareness, first touch and strength relative to size has all been fantastic in the minutes I have seen him. Reminds me of a Scholes/Modric hybrid which would be nice.
Pennington looks more like a traditional centre-half than a right back, but lacks the physical stature for it. Like a slightly less polished Stones. He has competition from Holgate and Galloway, though (as well as Funes Mori, Jagielka and Stones himself, if he stays).
Jonjoe Kenny was great against Norwich. I really hope he kicks on and doesn't lose a step (enthusiasm) once he establishes himself at the pro level. He really could solve a problem for us. If he slotted in as Coleman's long-term replacement for the next 8 years or so, it could mean that (including Hibbert) we will have had a run of first team right-backs that goes academy, 㿨k, academy. And spanning nearly a quarter of a century. Not bad.
Like I said, we have brought through one first-teamer in 10 years, so the chances that all these lads become Everton regulars are slim to none, but if we can bring two of them through in the next two seasons, it will be a sign that we have improved this part of the club massively since amalgamating the facilities to allow them to train in the same place as the First Team.
I would also like to see more of Ledson. I think he has a chance.
15 Posted 18/05/2016 at 14:25:52
But the young lads did look ready to step up, Davies has to be a fantastic prospect. Dowell different, but so much potential. And J-Hibbo Kelly, who will score for us one day! Put Seamus up into midfield!
We now rely on the board, who at last made a good decision, to get it right for the crucial appointment. But whoever he is, he must realise he has already got millions of pounds in the bank, as it were.
16 Posted 18/05/2016 at 15:06:07
I have to admit though that we seem to have a rich seam of good youth players at present.
Garbutt was great when he came in and I expect to see more of him and I have been particularly impressed with Dowell (could solve left wing problem) Davies (looks like he could play first team already) and other defenders Galloway, Browning, Holgate, Pennington and Kenny. Add them to Ledson and Williams and we have a great chance of seeing the next Ross Barkley very soon.
Lots to be cheerful about really, adding to new investor, new manager, new players and new stadium!
17 Posted 18/05/2016 at 15:46:47
He had a great loan spell at Yeovil. Was man of the match on more than one occasion. Same attributes as Tom Davies. These two could boss our midfield in the near future.
18 Posted 18/05/2016 at 15:54:30
19 Posted 18/05/2016 at 16:01:48
20 Posted 18/05/2016 at 16:10:37
21 Posted 18/05/2016 at 19:45:41
Ian and Paul, has either of you seen Garbutt this season? I have. Forget it. He's a left foot and no composure. Complete disaster for Fulham this season... had to apologize to the fans at one point. Destined for League One at best.
Galloway is the future at LB in my opinion.
22 Posted 18/05/2016 at 23:15:00
I was very impressed with Unsy at the weekend and would give them my vote.
23 Posted 19/05/2016 at 17:24:31
I don't expect we will see much of these kids unless we bring in a manager like De Boer, Mourinho will want tried and trusted and instant success. Tell ya what, tho, gimme a team full of kids with some old heads any day.
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