By Dave Downie
Everton Under-23’s manager David Unsworth says there’s plenty of first team players emerging from his Under-23 squad after they were crowned Premier League 2 Champions last night.
The young Blues were guaranteed the title following Liverpool’s 3-2 win over second-place Manchester City meaning they’re six points clear with just one game to go, which is ironically against their Merseyside rivals.
“I’m a very proud Evertonian. The lads have been brilliant all season and we’re all thrilled for them,” Unsworth told Radio City Talk’s Mick Coyle.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever cheered when Liverpool have won a game, but seriously I’m delighted for our young players. It’s a great achievement and just rewards for all the hard work they’ve put in from the first day of pre-season.”
The former Everton defender also explained how closely he works with club’s first-team staff to ensure the youngsters are given every chance of making the step-up to the Premier League: “The aim for any Under-23 group of staff is to produce players for the first-team on a regular basis.
“I speak to Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh everyday. There comes a point when you have to stop holding their hand and they have to learn to fly by themselves. If you look at Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate this year, they’re off and running as regulars so we have to concentrate on the next lot and we certainly have a very talented group where a lot of first-team players can come from.
“The expectation of this football club is that you need to win games and we have to prepare our players for that. If you don’t win a game at Goodison Park then you’re going to be told by the fans.
“It doesn’t matter what group of players we have, we develop them for the first team with a winning mentality as well.
You can hear the full interview with Radio City Talk here.