New Everton U18s Scholars and U23s Pre-season Friendlies

Thursday, 13 August, 2020 14comments  |  Jump to last
A video showing the new scholars who will be competing for places in this season's Under-18 side has been released by Everton Academy:

__ Luke Butterfield, midfielder
32 Eli Campbell, defender
39 Katia Kouyate, forward
43 Mathew Mallon, defender
46 Stanley Mills, midfielder
49 Issac Price, midfielder
50 Thierry Small, defender
51 Jak Stewart, goalkeeper
54 Reece Welch, defender
__ Charlie Whitaker, midfielder

But it seems the decision has been made not to enter a U21/U23 side into the EFL Checkatrade Trophy competition this season, with the EFL releasing their confirmed list of category one academy clubs who would enter a team into the tournament for the new campaign, and Everton not on it.

Brands and Unsworth decided against entering the controversial competition that pits leading Academy sides against League One and League Two opposition because of fears over fixture congestion in the compressed 2020-21 season.

Everton Under-23s' pre-season fixture schedule has been announced:

Saturday 15 August: Everton U-23s vs Southport (USM Finch Farm, 12pm)
Saturday 22 August: Everton U-23s vs Wigan Athletic U-23s (USM Finch Farm, 3pm)
Tuesday 25 August: Everton U-23s vs Chorley (USM Finch Farm, 7pm)
Saturday 29 August: Everton U-23s vs Morecambe (USM Finch Farm, 3pm)
Saturday 5 September: Manchester United U-23s vs Everton U-23s (The Cliff, 1pm).

All of the young Blues' pre-season games will take place behind-closed-doors. Fans can follow how the Under-23s get on by following the Club's social media channel and

Update: Wigan have withdrawn their U23 side and will not be playing at Finch Farm on Saturday 22 August.

Watch the new scholars in this Everton Academy video on Twitter

Reader Comments (14)

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Steve Ferns
1 Posted 13/08/2020 at 11:26:59

The new scholars are announced. These are the guys stepping up from schoolboys to U18s. Look out for Isaac Price and Katia Kouyate. There's also Danny Mills's son in there.

Also, I always think the players with numbers under 40 are viewed as better by the club. Kouyate has 39, and as he's a striker, he'd have wanted a number ending in 9. If true, then Eli Campbell is 32 and so must be highly rated within the club.

Jay Wood

2 Posted 13/08/2020 at 12:04:26
I hope there was a typo in the last of those listed players, Matthew Mallon, Steve.

All other players were listed as joining Everton anything between 8-15 years old.

Matthew is listed as joining at FOUR!!!

Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 13/08/2020 at 16:38:41
The age that they join seems just ridiculous to me, but that must be the way for all senior clubs, I imagine.

More ridiculous is the decision to drop the EFL Trophy games. Seriously, you can't fit in three more games? I guess there is the mad decision behind this to increase PL2 to 13 sides this season by promoting two sides while only relegating one. So that means 24 games instead of 22.

Then there is the PL Cup and the PL International Cup, adding a minimum of 6 and 3 games respectively before the knockout stages.

It seems the consensus of a few on ToffeeWeb was that the Academy sides shouldn't actually be competing for trophies, which I think is complete nonsense. Football is about winning — creating a winning mentality through effective teamwork in every game has to be central purpose of the years and years and years of training these kids go through.

So dropping perhaps the most competitive fixtures from the calendar, when these kids simply live to play games, seems a really backward and wrong step to my mind.

Kevin Prytherch
4 Posted 13/08/2020 at 17:02:28
Disappointed they’ve not entered the Checkatrade trophy. One of the few times the U23’s get a truly competitive match against elders. I think it often Gives an indication as to how far they’re off competing at that level instead of the minimal contact same age games. It also gives them good experience playing in front of some sort of crowd.
Joe McMahon
5 Posted 13/08/2020 at 17:08:45
Kevin, agreed. On another note could we not try Jak Stewart in the first team straight away?
Phill Thompson
6 Posted 13/08/2020 at 19:58:48
An exciting bunch of scholars there – I believe their numbers were issued based on their surname in alphabetical order.

Reece Welch has played regularly for England U16/U17 alongside Onyango and Dobbin. He's well over 6 feet and his shoulders have filled out a bit. He got quite a few games for our u18s last season.

Before lockdown there was a club video of Paul Tait training the U18s Welch and fellow new scholar Eli Campbell featured heavily in it as a defensive 3, Welch central, Campbell left, Harry Hagan right. Campbell is only an inch or two smaller than Welch, and scored a decent goal with his left foot in the video..

Thierry Small is a very skilful left-back who likes to get forward, he's quite solidly built.

Luke Butterfield, Isaac Price and Charlie Whitaker all featured at u18 last season. Price used to be in the England squads too but he switched to Northern Ireland at one time. I've seen more of Charlie Whitaker than the others and I've been very impressed, he was playing in the 10 position behind Tom Cannon and was very busy, creative, and can score goals.

Katia Kouyate is our only forward so I'd imagine he'd get a lot of game time having featured last season too. Martin Waldron our ex Academy Manager did an article recently on the players he'd spotted in his 20 years at Everton and said that Kouyate and Isaac Price are the two emerging players to keep an eye on.

So quite a wealth of different talents joining us, exciting !!

Justin Doone
7 Posted 13/08/2020 at 21:13:29
Good luck to them all.

It would be good to watch the games on Everton's website but we all know how truly awful our official site is at streaming. Very poor are the kindest words I'll type.

The young age of academy players is ridiculous but the majority of clubs have been doing this for decades.

On one side is the argument it gives young children from all walks of life a chance to have fun, burn off energy and instill some discipline while meeting new friends.

The other side being the lack of letting kids be kids as they are often not allowed to play football with their friends at school or local clubs.

Phill Thompson
8 Posted 13/08/2020 at 22:37:35
Justin, we're unlikely to improve our pathetic streaming service this season.

Over the past few years, I've watched more streams of our U18s and U23s on other clubs' sites than our own: Derby, Wolves, Blackburn, Leicester, the two Manc clubs are all ahead of us. Most require you to sign up to their site but it's usually free.

Sam Hoare
9 Posted 13/08/2020 at 23:11:04
Thanks Phill, your knowledge of the academy players is always extensive and appreciated.

It sounds like there's some decent talents coming through. Onyango and Dobbin are the two that excite me the most currently and hopefully they can perform well in U23s this season.

Jack Convery
10 Posted 14/08/2020 at 01:52:00
Oh to be 16 and playing for Everton. Good Luck Boys.
Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 14/08/2020 at 03:58:57
How can we possibly put a team out in the Checkatrade Trophy against older players when anybody decent will be out on loan to get experience against err. older players...
Robert Tressell
12 Posted 14/08/2020 at 04:57:22
Are there emerging signs here that Brands has got to grips with the organisational structure of the club?

The recruitment side of things has been very patchy. But the age of the first team is reducing (someone on here did some good analysis to evidence recently) – so too the U-23s.

This group of scholars seems to be talked of highly. Phill & Steve, it's great to get your insight.

We've obviously had false dawns with young talent (Kissock & Green) but maybe the crucial development stage for these lads is better organised than it has been before. Might be wishful thinking but interested if others who know more about the academy see any reason for hope.

If we can (as I believe all clubs should) start bringing through quality youth, it takes the strain off the expensive and hit and miss transfer side of things.

Phill Thompson
13 Posted 14/08/2020 at 09:55:15
Robert, there's a definite Brands hand in things. Danny Mills, whose son Stanley is a new Scholar, was outlining last year how he saw Brands watching the U16s and U18s regularly, spotting talent and I've no doubt pushing them forward. 8 of the new Scholars featured in U18 squads last season as Schoolboys, that's unprecedented in recent years (Mills and Mallon were the only two who didn't.)

It may be that we've got a better year group than normal but, yes, the signs are thereof better coordination through the years. It's always frustrated me that the U18s seem to play differently from U23s, and them from first team, changing managers never helps of course.

Man City play the same style throughout their age groups, and I remember last season one of their best prospects in their U18s lost the ball trying to play out from the back and we scored. They just shrugged and got on with it. A few months later their U23s were tearing up our U23s with the same style.

Even for the most talented there are big step-ups from U18s to U23s then to 1st team. I think, and hope, we're now making that route easier and better coordinated.

Robert Tressell
14 Posted 14/08/2020 at 18:49:43
Thanks, Phill. It's really good to get your perspective. It has been such a disappointing season – so it's good to discover reasons to be optimistic. And frankly, what could be better than the prospect of young lads from the region getting to the first team. It's also a reason to keep patience with Brands.

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