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Russell Griffiths 45

A strong and commanding presence in his area, the Blues’ goalkeeper was a near ever-present for the title-winning Under-18s in 2013-14. He lifted the trophy alongside fellow co-captain Gethin Jones following a Man of the Match performance in the final against Manchester City.

In December 2014, Griffiths was named on the bench for Everton's first-team game against FC Krasnodar and found himself again on the substitutes bench later that season as understudy to Joel Robles while Tim Howard was sidelined with a calf injury. 

After taking part in pre-season with Northwich Victoria, Griffiths joined the Northern Premier League side on a one-month loan deal in August 2015 before spending time with Colwyn Bay. 

Griffiths then joined joined Halifax Town on a one-month loan deal and said he snapped up the opportunity when offered to him. The 19-year-old made his debut in the FA Cup defeat to Wycombe Wanderers on 8 November 2015, where he let in four goals.

Ex-Christleton High School pupil Griffiths believes loan moves will significantly help his career as he continues to progress:

He said: "I bit their hand off; being able to play at a standard such as the National League can only benefit me. Being here will fill me with lots of experience which is vital as I am a young goalkeeper. I am looking forward to the matches and hopefully helping Halifax climb up the table.  I’m looking to improve each day, the opportunity at Halifax allows me to play men’s football.

"In this league, I’ll learn how to protect myself better as a goalkeeper, playing for three points every game and in a real league is the best opportunity I have to improve my game to a higher standard. I’ve set myself personal targets to play as consistently as I can each week and perform well and if so that will contribute to Halifax and be good for the team.

"Playing in this division will make me stronger mentally, physically and give myself the ability to be pushed. I need this challenge as it will test me and it’s a challenge I am relishing. Playing in the National League before Christmas is ahead of my target set by Everton at the start of the season and I’m going to take things one step at a time but hopefully by the end of the season I can work my way into the Football League and achieve my personal target."

However, his loan lasted less than a month after he was sent off against Gateshead, but would later win his appeal against the red card. He returned to play for a couple of Premier Academy League games in goal for the Under-21s but seemed destined for the bench behind Gray and Hewelt as David Unsworth rotated through the group of aspiring young keepers on Everton's books. The departure of Jindrich Stanek may have improved his chances of  progressing toward the first team, but that was before Chris Renshaw was brought in. At the end of pre-season training, he was farmed out on loan with Cheltenham Town until 2 January 2017. 

Griffiths made 28 appearances for the League Two strugglers, before he was recalled in January 2017, when Maarten Stekelenburg suffered a dead leg and Joel Robles got his chance to displace him. Mateusz Hewelt was on the senior bench but Griffiths was needed for the Under-23s. He sat on the bench for David Unsworth for a couple of games before being loaned out to Motherwell where he played 4 games, conceded 4 goals, and sat on the bench for the rest of the season.

FactFile

Squad number 45
Position Goalkeeper
Nationality England
Born Chester
Date of birth 13 April 1996
Height x' xx"
Joined ? ??? 201?
Joined from Everton Academy
Signed by Roberto Martinez
Transfer fee No fee
Contract duration 2 years
Contract expires June 2017
Debut (sub) v
Previous Clubs None
» Soccerbase Datafile
» Wikipedia Entry

Everton Career

Season Squad No. League Apps (sub) League Goals Cup Apps (sub) Cup Goals Total Apps (sub) Total Goals
2015-16
45
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
2016-17
45
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
  Totals 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0


Loan Spells

Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
2015-16 Northwich Victoria 6 0
2015-16 Colwyn Bay 6 0
2015-16 Halifax Town 1 & 1 0 & 0
2016-17 Cheltenham Town 24 (0) & 5 (0) 0 & 0

Academy Career

Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
2013-14 Under-21s    
2014-15 Under-21s    
2015-16 Under-21s    
2016-17 Under-23s    

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