Spring Cleaning at the Academy

by | 25/04/2013

It appears that a number of the bright up-&-coming young starlets at the Everton Academy have been released in the annual culling of talent where only the best are retained.

From the current stock, Tom Molyneux, George Waring and Jasper Johns have apparently been released while Matt Pennington, Chris Long, Conor Grant and Ibou Touray have been offered new deals.  

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
232 Posted 23/04/2013 at 16:52:37
I meant to say that I had gotten this off GOT and was looking for a more definitive source. The only thing I could find was a reference to the four offered contracts, so the rest is conjecture. Maybe George Waring is in a different age group?

If anyone finds a reliable link for this this story, please post. Thanks.
Tom Winek
692 Posted 25/04/2013 at 15:48:34
Wasnt George Waring doing really well? That's a mistake isn't it.
Jon Withey
693 Posted 25/04/2013 at 15:49:41
George Waring ? I thought he as putting them away for fun.
Dave Southon
694 Posted 25/04/2013 at 15:52:01
That's why we cut him then Jon.
It avoids disappointment later on when he rots in the reserves due to a lack of managerial bottle to blood the youngsters.
Ross Edwards
697 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:04:47
Hear Hear.
Moyes hasn't got the bottle to drop some of the favourites for an Oviedo or a McAleny. He keeps complaining that he has an ageing squad but he's got youngsters there that deserve to start ahead of Pienaar, Osman and Naismith. The fact that Naismith is on the bench and Velios or McAleny aren't shows his idiocy and ineptitude.
Andrew Fair
699 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:09:12
To be fair, apart from Jags and Baines in a terrible era for our club, which youngsters have actually been released that have gone on to greater things? Not many, if any! In fact which youngsters have been released to then play for another Premier League team?

And we can criticize Moyes, Ross, but it will be Kevin Sheedy and Duncan Ferguson who have opted to release these kids!

Thomas Surgenor
701 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:10:32

...well that answers that then!!

At least George Green is still there...maybe he will be the 'next big thing'

Chris Bentham
708 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:32:06
Again today Moyesy saying how at Everton we like to give youth a chance... He forgot to mention but if they make any mistakes we won't see them for a year... No pressure, eh.
Sam Hoare
714 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:37:19
Must every single thread become an anti-Moyes rant?

Well done to the lads who got offered contracts and hope the others do well elsewhere. Chances are there's always one or two who go on to play at top level.

Chris Long and Conor Grant in particular have looked very handy when i've seen them.

Ross Edwards
716 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:42:05
Well, he is the manager Sam.
Kevin Day
718 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:42:33
Surprised at George Waring, I've not watched or seen any games he has played in, but from the reports I've read he has always seemed to be mentioned scoring or laying in a goal.
Sam Hoare
724 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:59:08
Thanks Ross, had picked that up!
Colin McBride
725 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:59:09
Come on, are you guys for real? Are you seriously saying that Moyes would play players that he thought (and the rest of the 20 odd back room staff thought) were not as good as up and coming youngsters out of some kind of spite? He sees these players day in day out and has to know what they are capable of.

It really does pain me to hear some of the rubbish on here, can we not try to be a little impartial with our views and at least sometimes say "Well Moyes and the U18 and U21 coaches must know a little more than us because they see these players play and train 5-6 hours every day of the year".

David Haimes
730 Posted 25/04/2013 at 17:31:40

Everybody wants to be an armchair manager, they never have to make decisions and live by them and be judged on them. They are always right.

Sam Hoare
735 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:02:44
A bit of sense from Colin.

If we had just been relegated or spent £40m and failed to get into Europe then maybe I could understand this strange desire for supporters to attack the manager at every single opportunity but as it is we have had, at worst, a mediocre season. Strange.

Tony Lea
743 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:27:45
It does defy logic that people who have never seen these guys play or train consider they know better tham Moyes or the rest of the coaches. It is pathetic to use this as a stick to hit Moyes. Who has he released from the academy in the last ten years gone on to star elsewhere
Chris Cook
749 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:54:17
Forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't Alan Irvine incharge of the youth academy, not Moyes?
Michael Kenrick
753 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:57:36
We can't know for sure but I imagine, with Moyes's level of control internally, decisions on Everton Academy players retained or released (at least down to a certain level) would be run by him. His presence at games is reported fairly often; I can't imagine he's not significantly involved.

And if you believe all the decisions the manager makes are automatically the correct ones, you'd be well within your rights to hold such an opinion. However, I could not possibly comment.
Sam Hoare
759 Posted 25/04/2013 at 19:18:35
Not necessarily the correct decisions but certainly in respect to youth players the more informed than us decisions.
Brian Harrison
761 Posted 25/04/2013 at 19:23:32
Seeing as a few of the posters are questioning Moyes ability in judging young players, can anyone name 1 player who has gone from our academy to play regularly in the Prem since Moyes has been at the club.
Brian Harrison
762 Posted 25/04/2013 at 19:27:53
I meant to say a player released by the club obviously someone will chirp up with Rooney.
Dan Brierley
770 Posted 25/04/2013 at 19:49:04
Obviously he needs to be mentioned Brian, because he is the best english centre forward of his generation and Moyes was the one who gave him his chance. He was 16 years old when Moyes first played him, so this idea that Moyes doesn't give youth a chance doesn't seem to add up. Unless of course, it is true that young players do not get a chance until they are good enough, like Rooney.
Paul Doyle
788 Posted 25/04/2013 at 20:36:23
Brian #762: Akpan at Reading
Brian Lawlor
804 Posted 25/04/2013 at 21:12:43
What a lovely way to describe the release of some unfortunate youngsters not good enough to make the grade - "Spring Cleaning"!!


Peter Foy
806 Posted 25/04/2013 at 21:11:15
If George Waring OR George Green end up at Schalke this summer, I'll be seriously suspicious.
James Morgan
807 Posted 25/04/2013 at 21:05:27
I see that our under 21s remain unbeaten after a draw with Chelsea.
Surely after winning their group at a canter there are players ready to dip their toe into the first team.

McAleny, Pennington, Long and Kennedy seem to be getting positive light, not to mention we know Duffy can handle the prem, and Lundstram is getting good first team action at Doncaster.

Does anybody know the crack with Hallam Hope? He seemed to be deemed a bright prospect but its gone a bit quiet.

Colin McBride
822 Posted 25/04/2013 at 22:47:51
If you look at our last successful youth team (Rooney aside) only Osman and Hibbert have come through and most people on here like to slate those two players as not being good enough.

I would love to see more of our youth players and U21 player make the grade but I think the reality is that they are not really good enough and it goes to show from where our youth usually ends up.

I remember Jeavons was decent at a lower level with Yeovil I think, Chadwick was playing for a few league 1 and 2 sides, Gerrard and someone else I cant remember at another league 1 side. But at the end of the day the decisions are usually right to let them go.

I can see the likes of Duffy and Vellios playing for a Championship side and doing well but Im not sure they are top half of the premiership standard and deep down most of you know that and I think Moyes does too (hence their lack of chances even when it looks like they could get a chance).

Paul Dewhurst
823 Posted 25/04/2013 at 23:03:34
Danny Fox (Southampton) & Hope Akpan (Reading) are the only ones released that play Premier League football.

You could possibly also argue a case for John Ruddy as we bought him young and he was released at the end of his contract.

Karl Masters
836 Posted 26/04/2013 at 01:22:55
Danny Fox was a mistake, although we have Baines in that position and Akpan won't be making his occasional run outs in the Premier League for much longer. Ruddy is a fair shout, but again we have had Howard all that time so we are talking virtually nobody has slipped the net in the last 11 years.

Eric Myles
837 Posted 26/04/2013 at 01:36:21
Tony #743 and what's equally amazing is that when we HAVE seen some youngsters played, i.e. Velios, and thay have not been up to the mark, i.e. Velios, then there are still calls for them to be played.
Eric Myles
838 Posted 26/04/2013 at 01:43:04
Paul #823, I don't think Ruddy was released, didn't he want to leave?

Anyway Ruddy and the other 2 you named went to lower league sides that have gained promotion to the Premier League, and will soon be relegated from it.

There's nobody except Rooney that went direct to another PL team.

Stu Smith
845 Posted 26/04/2013 at 04:34:44
Ruddy turned down a new contact.
Dave Southon
867 Posted 26/04/2013 at 08:32:23
I think the point has been missed. It is not about who has gone on to better things than Everton, but who could have been an Everton regular with the right mentoring and coaching?

We are not alone in dismissing youth but I can't help thinking that, if we gave more youngsters real game time, that more would eventually come through the academy and thus making it a real success as, let's be honest, we can't take the credit for Rooney as he would have made it whether at our academy or Walsall's academy.

Players need games and alas it appears to me only a small number of PL clubs give their youngsters game time.

Phil Sammon
869 Posted 26/04/2013 at 08:29:41
Eric Myles

What about the youngsters we have seen and feel are ready for first team action. And then they get on the pitch, play well, and then sit in exile for 6 months.

Oviedo, Barkley and McAleny are the three I really feel deserved more time than they've had.

Duffy deserves a chance purely on the basis of Heitinga being so bad. That run of mistakes was unbelievable. He was personally responsible for 6 goals conceded in a row! Against Sunderland in the first 10 minutes he gifted them a one on one that Howard did very well to smother. How many mistakes can you allow before you give a promising youngster a chance? If Duffy had made one of those errors he'd have been out on his arse for at least 12 months.

You can't have a go at people for expressing their opinions when, quite clearly, Everton do not have a clue when it comes to bringing through youth. People say, 'Who has gone on to bigger things having left Everton' as if its some sort of testament to our youth system. Quite the opposite. If you're 16-18 at Everton you are almost certainly destined for 3 years in the stiffs and a career in League 1.

Nothing highlights the club's ineptitude this more than recent events with John Stones. Dragged out of first team football at Barnsley where he was progressing fantastically to join up with our reserves. Surely he could have finished the season there. Mad.

Dan Brierley
902 Posted 26/04/2013 at 10:57:35
Phil, how come Oviedo is part of your 'youth' players? He is 23, and has never been near the Everton Youth set up. The reason he is not playing, is very simple. He was brought in as cover for Baines, who has not been injured. Unless of course you see him training week in week out, and can genuinely say he has earned his chance and Moyes is refusing to play him due to some personal vendetta.

But I get the impression that you expect Moyes to 'give him a chance' so you can see enough of him to make up your mind on his ability. And regarding John Stones, how do you know he is making no progress? I am pretty sure he is not sitting on his arse day in day out waiting for a chance to play.

Phil Sammon
908 Posted 26/04/2013 at 13:33:47
Where did I say Oviedo had come through our youth setup?

I said that he is one of a few younger players who deserve more of a chance than they are getting.

For some reason the lad doesn't play in the reserves so all I can judge him on is a few fleeting first team appearances. He did more in those snippets than I've seen from Naismith – who is repeatedly given time on the field.

With regards to Stones, every manager, pundit, player and football fan can agree that to develop players need to be playing first team football – that's why we allow loans. So would it not have made sense to keep the lad in a team where he was performing well?

Same for Barkley. Moyes knew he needed games so waited and waited and dillied and dallied and eventually came up with two botched deals with two shite clubs. There were plenty of teams after him – why not send him somewhere for 6 months so he really has a chance to settle in. Add an option to recall and it's no risk.


Andrew Yates
912 Posted 26/04/2013 at 13:51:42
We had the likes of Ball, Jeffers, Cadamateri all come through the youth system and short of injuries/attitude they were given game time and all ultimately failed, then we had the Keith Southern's, Chadwick's etc and they've all found their feet at a lower level. Then there's Baxter who seemed a world beater potentially and has now blossomed at a lower level.

The Youth set-up has changed drastically over those generations of players, they are conditioned, trained to the n-th degree, mentally and physically it is a world away from 10-12 years ago.

Personally I would've liked to have seen some of the younger squad given a chance, that happened in the Leeds cup game and we were awful, Junior anyone??

I have to accept that if they are not in the first team or even warming the bench it has to be because they are either not ready or not good enough.

So let's see what the summer brings, hopefully the youth players nearing the first team can learn from the likes of Jags, Baines & Mirallas and we can develop a few into quality first team players.

Phil Sammon
916 Posted 26/04/2013 at 14:17:33
That's just it though, Andrew, no first team action for the young lads...then he bangs four of them in the starting line-up away against Leeds.

Who thought that was a good idea?

Nobody is saying, 'play the kids every week' - it's about timing and taking your opportunities. 4-0 up against Cheltenham for example, it would have been nice to give some youngsters a go rather than bringing on Heitinga etc.

Even just having McAleny on the bench instead of FUCKING Neville. I'm sick to death of our two attacking options being a misfiring Jelavic and that tosser Naismith.

Jamie Barlow
921 Posted 26/04/2013 at 15:00:44
"That's just it though, Andrew, no first team action for the young lads...then he bangs four of them in the starting line-up away against Leeds."

Go on Phil, give us a clue who these kids were.

Richard Dodd
922 Posted 26/04/2013 at 14:52:57
Nobody seems to have mentioned Big Victor. He is now a fairly regular Premier League starter and, even if not everybody's idea of the perfect centre-forward, would almost certainly command a £6-8 Million fee if he was moved on. "Today's Emile Heskey", Redknapp recently dubbed him — and look how many big money transfers he was involved in!
Sam Hoare
935 Posted 26/04/2013 at 15:59:04
Phil, I feel your frustration and would like to see more kids get a chance but the fact is that Moyes clearly feels that they represent a risk.

It could well be that he is being over cautious but it may also be that the kids in question simply are not ready/good enough. Not that many 18-21 year olds get sustained runs in the top 6 or 7 teams without having proven themselves somewhere else (at top level) first. In fact I can think of very examples off the top of my head.

Moyes is someone who obviously shows a huge amount of loyalty to his senior players and that can be both a blessing and a curse but Anichebe is a good example of Moyes seeing a kid that he believes has something worth perservering with and as Doddy points out has probably now turned him into a player worth a few bob (even if he is still frustrating as hell at times!)

Phil Sammon
943 Posted 26/04/2013 at 16:41:22
Jamie Barlow

Here's the starting line-up against Leeds. The fixture every 'fan' rolls out to attempt to deride our youngsters.

01 Mucha
05 Heitinga Booked
15 Distin
23 Coleman
08 Oviedo Booked
25 Fellaini Booked
30 Francisco Junior (Neville - 46' )
11 Mirallas
14 Naismith (Jelavic - 65' )
19 Gueye (Pienaar - 46' )
28 Anichebe

Oviedo, Junior and Gueye there - not 4, so I apologise for that.

The problem is that when you're introducing kids you don't throw them into this sort of environment. You maybe start one of them and surround them by experience. Then maybe bring another off the bench in the second half.

It's also worth pointing out that Fellaini was every bit as bad as Junior in that game.

Steavey Buckley
954 Posted 26/04/2013 at 17:06:14
At around 16 years of age it should be obvious if he is going to make it at Everton. If the young player is not comfortable with ball at his feet and can't juggle the ball with ease, he ain't going to make it in the premier league. But there are loads of kids in South America and Africa who can do this on the beech or on scrub land without any boots or shoes on all day long who will probably not play for any real football team.
Dan Brierley
955 Posted 26/04/2013 at 16:38:16
Phil, Oviedo is a left back primarily, I am not surprised at all that he is not considered over Naismith as a substitute replacement for the likes of Gibson, Osman or a front player. And I don't think your assessment is right that Moyes doesn't give chances. How many chances did James Vaughan get to prove himself?

Likewise Velios scored a few goals as a substitute and earned himself a starting berth, but in my opinion he simply did not take his chance as he looked completely lost. He is now looking more comfortable at reserve level.

I would love nothing more than to see some bright youth players coming through and giving our squad a new dimension. But Barkley aside, I don't see the rest as particularly promising. There is no doubt that Moyes could give the youth more time on the pitch, but I don't see who is earning it at the moment. I think football teams need to be a bit more professional than 'just give him a go..'

Jamie Barlow
957 Posted 26/04/2013 at 17:11:13
Gueye has played for our first team 38 times so hardly no first team action.

2 untried young players played in the Leeds game and Mucha. lThe reason we lost is because we played shite. Nothing to do with throwing to many youngsters in at the same time.

I agree with you that the youth don't get enough games. It just pisses me off that things get made up to suit people's ideas. The Leeds game as an example of Moyes playing too many kids at one time. It gets trotted out quite a bit and it isn't true.

Phil Sammon
960 Posted 26/04/2013 at 17:33:59
It is true!

You can't just say, 'we played shite'. Why did we play shite? We were absolutely all over the place.

Moyes attempted to field a second string team and it completely backfired.

Ease young players in - little and often. Not just play them once and fuck them off when they make a mistake.

Phil Sammon
961 Posted 26/04/2013 at 17:38:10

Oviedo has shown more worth as an attacking midfielder than Naismith has...yet doesn't get a fraction of the game time.

Mark Frere
966 Posted 26/04/2013 at 17:44:39
That's right Phil, Moyes should should pick players on the basis of how well they've performed in first team games, and Naismith has been dire every time. Oviedo has looked good when given brief first team action
Eric Myles
975 Posted 26/04/2013 at 17:22:18
Phil #869, so your whole premise for starting untried teenagers / youth is that they can't be worse than our experienced players?

Well they have shown that they CAN be worse and your selective memory of the few good minutes they had on the field doesn't outweight the vast experience of players that have played at the highest level for years.

Jamie Barlow
976 Posted 26/04/2013 at 18:27:20
So it's second string team now, not youngsters?

I'll say it again. He put in 2 untried youngsters at the same time.

2. That's if you count Oviedo. He's not really a youngster is he?

Phil Sammon
987 Posted 26/04/2013 at 19:08:17

It's a second string team with some youngsters in there. Is that so hard to understand? They're not mutually exclusive Oviedo was 22 when that game took place. Yes, I would say he's a youngster.


I believe that when a first team player is having an absolute stinker week in, week out, then he should be replaced. How exactly are these lads supposed to come into the team? We cant afford to buy players - we need to produce our own.

Don't tell me Duffy, Barkley, Junior, McAleny and Kennedy aren't talented. They boss the U21's each week. Again, I wouldn't dream of starting these guys week in week out, but a few sub appearances here and there would benefit both them and the team.

I have a selective memory? Well, I think you'll find everyone does. I do however recall a catelogue of first team players making errors that you seem to be glossing over.

Jamie Barlow
992 Posted 26/04/2013 at 19:30:32
It's hard to understand when you change your tune so many times. It was 4 untried youngsters. Then 3. Then 2. Then second string.
Phil Sammon
994 Posted 26/04/2013 at 19:33:25
It's been the same tune throughout, I'm afraid.

Youngsters not given a chance in first team games.

Then three all get thrown in together in an inexperienced line-up.

Are you trying to argue that you think our youth policy is perfect?

Jamie Barlow
996 Posted 26/04/2013 at 19:45:54
I think it's very flawed actually. I was just pointing out that we played two inexperienced youngsters in the Leeds game. Not 4 like you said.
Phil Sammon
999 Posted 26/04/2013 at 19:49:08
At the time:

Oviedo 22
Gueye 22
Junior 20

Coleman was 23 at the time and hasn't played all that much at RB. Mucha in net had played a handful of games.

It was a daft team selection when we were going to a full house at Elland Road.

Phil Sammon
000 Posted 26/04/2013 at 20:00:29
And I said '4' from memory - and since apologised. Forgive my enormous exaggeration.
Mark Frere
007 Posted 26/04/2013 at 20:07:42
I think the League cup fiasco against Leeds was one of the biggest cock ups by Moyes this season. The League cup is the most realistic chance we have of winning silverware because the top teams aren't that fussed about it.

For Moyes to totally change the team like he did, showed a total lack of respect to a competition all Everton fans would love to win

Paul Andrews
073 Posted 27/04/2013 at 07:53:11
Brian Harrison 761,
More importantly,can anyone name a player from our academy during Moyes tenure who has gone on to play for us regularly.Jack Rodwell ?
Ian Bennett
429 Posted 28/04/2013 at 19:00:55
George Warring scored for Stoke.


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