Everton's fortified second string defend their Premier League 2 crown
Everton's Under-23s largely represent the end product of the renowned Everton Academy at Finch Farm which has produced a number of players now on the threshold of breaking into the Blues' first team. As of 2016, they play in the FA Premier League 2 as one of 12 teams in Division 1.
Everton will also be one of the Premier League teams entering teams into the Checkatrade Trophy alongside the senior sides from Football League One and League Two.
|· Results & Fixtures||A record of Everton's Under-21 matches for the season|
|· League Table||Current standings in the FA Under-21 Premier League|
|· Match Details||Teamsheets and brief reports for each match|
|· Appearances||A table of Under-21 appearances for all senior players|
|· Friendlies||Results from Under-21 friendly matches|
Everton Under-23s will split their home matches between the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport and Goodison Park this season. A new mini-stadium at the club's Halewood training complex is still under construction.
Starting in 2016-17, the U21 Premier League (which itself replaced the old Reserves league that stretched back to an age that pre-dated the formation of the Football League in 1888) was renamed Premier League 2 which operates on the same two-division format of 12 teams each but the age limit was raised to 23.
Each team can field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to three ‘over-age’ outfield players in every match.
|Division 1||Division 2|
|Derby County||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Manchester City||Newcastle United|
|Manchester United||Norwich City|
|Southampton||West Bromwich Albion|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
Clubs play each other once at home and once away, with the top team in Division 1 named as Champions. The bottom two teams in Division 1 get relegated to Division 2.
In Division 2, the league winners get automatic promotion to Division 1; teams ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th go into a promotion play-off. There is no relegation from Division 2.
2014-15 saw the introduction of The Premier League
International Cup — with invited European sides competing in a
four-group tournament. In 2017-18, Everton will be entering an U23 side into the Premier League
International Cup, in a tournament alongside Porto, PSV Eindhoven,
Valencia, Wolfsburg and Benfica that was won last season by Villarreal, who will be looking to
retain their trophy in the forthcoming competition. This season, the number of
teams participating in the International Cup has been increased from 16 to 24.
The format of the International Cup, which will take place solely in England, will see 24 clubs - 12 from England and the other half from the continent - competing in six groups of four teams with each side playing each other once. There will be two representatives from Europe and two from England in every group, with the top club in each plus the two best placed runners-up advancing to the knockout stages of the competition.
The Premier League International Cup permits three over-aged players in addition to an over-aged goalkeeper and the fixtures will be released at a later date. Clubs entering this season’s Premier League International Cup:
Premier League 2 clubs: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Derby County, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Reading, Sunderland, Swansea City.
Invited international clubs: Athletic Club, Benfica, Celtic, Dinamo
Zagreb, Feyenoord, Hertha Berlin, Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Sparta Prague, Valencia,
16 invited Academy teams have been confirmed for the 2017-18 Checkatrade Trophy, with newcomers Fulham, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur joining Everton and other Category One development sides playing against professionals senior sides from League One and League Two.
The full list of invited Under-21 sides is as follows:
Brighton and Hove Albion, Reading, Chelsea, Southampton, Everton, Stoke City, Fulham, Sunderland ,Leicester City, Swansea City, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United, West Ham United.
The invited teams were selected based on their final league position at the end of the 2016-17 season. The first 16 were invited to take part, and then subsequent teams with Category One Academy status invited as required.
The selection criteria for invited teams is ‘six players from the starting 11 must be under the age of 21 as of 30th June 2017.'
The teams play initially in a group format; Everton are in Group G where they will play Notts County, Lincoln City and Mansfield Town each once, all away from home.
|Under-23 Competitive Games||All KOs are UK time|
|Fri 11 Aug||West Ham United (A)||0 - 0||Vicrtoria Ground||PL2|
|Tue 15 Aug||Notts County (A)||1 - 2||Donkor||Meadow Lane||CT: G.1|
|Fri 18 Aug||Leicester City (H)||0 - 1||Haig Avenue||PL2|
|U23 Pre-Season Friendlies||All KOs are UK time|
|Sat 8 Jul||Flint Town United (A)||6 - 1||Duffus, Feeney, Mathis 2, Dyson 2|
|Wed 12 Jul||Burscough (A)||P - P|
|Sat 15 Jul||Accrington Stanley (A)||3 - 3||Henen, Bowler, Bramall|
|Sat 22 Jul||Hull City U23s (N)||4 - 2||Broadhead, Grant, Henen, Donkor|
|Sat 5 Aug||Bangor City (A)||2 - 0||Sambou, Garbutt|
|Tue 8 Aug||Brentford (H)||3 - 4||Broadhead 2, Donkor||Finch Farm|
(F) denotes Friendly fixture
(TF) denotes Friendly tournament fixture
(XI) denotes Friendly fixture involving an Everton XI (not necessarily the first team)
SCNI denotes SuperCupNI (formerly, the Milk Cup)
LSC denotes a tie in the Liverpool Senior Cup
LaSC denotes a tie in the Lancashire Senior Cup
FA PREMIER LEAGUE 2, Division 1, 2017-18
The section below contains team details, scorers, and brief match reports for Everton Under-23 matches during the 2017-18 Season.
Premier League 2; Game #1
Friday 11 August, 2017
Victoria Ground, Dagenham
Jonjoe Kenny was in the side, almost certainly ruling him out of any involvement with the first team tomorrow, along with Luke Garbutt and new signing Josh Bowler.
Anton Donkor was named among the substituted with the more experienced Conor Grant and up-and-coming striker Nathan Broadhead.
Broadhead would find himself in the action sooner than expected when Calum Dyson was forced off with an injury in the first half.
And after a goalless first period, in which Bowler had seen a shot blocked, Broadhead himself had to be substituted, replaced by Grant with Sambou left as a lone striker up front.
The 21-year-old's presence added to Everton's ability to control the midfield and they were in the driving seat as the second half progressed.
However, Michail Antonio tested Louis Gray with a strong shot from outside the box that then 'keeper was equal to.
Kenny came closer than anyone to breaking the deadlock when he rattled a shot off the post before Morgan Feeney's header was saved and Sambou came within inches of connecting with a ball in front of goal.
Conor Coventry was sent off for the home side as the game moved into stoppage time.
Everton U23s: Gray, Kenny, Jones, Garbutt (76' Donkor), Connolly, Baningime, Charsley, Feeney, Bowler, Dyson (16' Broadhead
(46' Grant)), Sambou.
Subs not used: Renshaw, Foulds.
Premier League 2; Game #2
Friday 18 August, 2017
Haig Avenue, Southport
Everton Under-23s suffered their first Premier League 2 defeat of the season, beaten 1-0 by Leicester City at Haig Avenue in Southport.
The young Blues struggled to impose themselves on the game before half-time but threw everything they had at rescuing something from the contest after the break.
One of the changes David Unsworth made was to bring on Jose Baxter as a second-half substitute, who has not played for Everton for 5 years, as a significant step in rebuilding the player's career.
Bassala Sambou came closest with a header that narrowly missed the target — but Leicester clung on, with goalscorer Knight capping a fine personal display with a brave block on substitute Jose Baxter's penalty-box drive in the game's final knockings.
Everton U23s: Gray; Kenny, Foulds, Baningime, Connolly; Gibson, Charsley, Walsh (62' Feeney), Sambou, Evans (55' Baxter), Donkor (55' Jones).
Subs not Used: Renshaw, Bowler.
Group G; Game #1
Tuesday 15 August, 2017
Meadow Lane, Nottingham
The Blues struggled in the first half, conceding two goals at the break, but Anton Donkor came in and reduced the deficit after 56 mins. However, it wasn't enough and the Everton start the first of their three group games with a loss.Everton U21/U23: Gray, Connolly, Garbutt, Jones, Charsley, Foulds, Grant, Baningime, Bowler, Feeney, Sambou.
|Player||League Apps (Sub)||League
Boris Mathis bagged two goals as Everton Under-23s cruised to a
comfortable 6-1 pre-season victory at Flint Town United on Saturday
The 19-year-old French forward signed for the young Blues only earlier in the week, and took no time to get on the scoresheet, with Courtney Duffus, Morgan Feeney and Calum Dyson (2) also on target against the Welsh Alliance team currently managed by former Everton coach, Andy Holden.
Josh Bowler also made his first appearance in a royal blue jersey following his move from Queens Park Rangers on Friday, and it was the winger who was tripped inside the box in the 15th minute to give Everton a penalty. Conor Grant struck the spot-kick well but Nicky Bulmer in the Flint goal made a fine save.
The Blues took the lead in the 36th minute though, when Duffus produced an
excellent half-volleyed finish from a pull-back by Antony Evans.
Boss David Unsworth made nine changes at half-time and the substitutes quickly put the outcome of the game to bed.
On the hour, Feeney was in the right place at the right time to plant a firm header past Bulmer, and then two minutes later Mathis rounded off an excellent Everton move by sliding in at the far post to poke the ball into the net.
Everton were very much in the ascendency in the north Wales sunshine and only smart saves by Bulmer to deny Dyson and Mathis prevented further goals. However, the keeper was helpless in the 78th minute when David Henen raced clear before slipping the ball into Dyson’s path for a simple tap-in.
The fifth goal was similar – Henen breaking away down the left and squaring the ball for Dyson to convert again. The Flint consolation came in the 88th minute. After the Blues’ fifth goal, the home side kicked off and, from the halfway line. Phil Doran fired a superb left-foot shot over a stranded Louis Gray and into the Everton net.
Mathis completed the scoring in stoppage- time with a neat finish. Another plus note on a very satisfying afternoon for Unsworth was the second-half appearance of Sam Byrne for his first taste of action since suffering a broken leg last year.
Everton U23s: Renshaw, Bramall, Garbutt, Denny, Foulds,
Markelo, Charsley, Grant, Evans, Duffus, Bowler.
Subs: Gray, Robinson, Feeney, Byrne, Beningime, Henen, Donkor, Mathis, Dyson, Broadhead.
David Unsworth took his Under-23 side to Accrington Stanley this afternoon. The U-23s led with goals from David Henen and new signing, Josh Bowler just before the break but fell behind and needed Bramall's shot to level the scores.
The home side — including their new signing from Dunfermline, Ben Richards-Everton! — took the lead from the penalty shot after Renshaw pulled down their trialist and Billy Kee fired home. But the Blues turned things around before half-time, with goals form David Henen and Josh Bowler.
A slick move down the left saw Antonee Robinson's cross slotted home first time by Henen. The second Everton goal again came down the left 2 mins later and the new signing from QPR, Josh Bowler, calmly slotted the ball home from inside the area after a Donkor effort.
Alex Denny came on for the second half, replacing Morgan Feeney at centre-back. Unsworth then made a slew of changes just after the hour mark, using all the remaining eight substitutes. And in the confusion as the changes tried to settle, the Blues conceded a second goal, nodded in at the back post off a free-kick.
That was soon followed by another goal for the home side, Clark's free kick causing chaos. It looked like an own goal in the end, perhaps in off Denny. But substitute Danny Bramall then converted a cross from the left to level the scores again at 3-3, and that's how it finished. Some fine entertainment for the crowd of 1,073.
Everton U-23s: Renshaw, Jones (62' Bramall), Robinson (62' Garbutt), Baningime (62' Broadhead), Feeney (46' Denny), Foulds, Bowler (62' Markelo), Grant (62' Mathis), Sambou (62' Charsley), Henen (62' Evans), Donkor (62' Dyson).
Subs: (All Used)
The Young Blues had been in the La Manga region since Sunday evening as they looked to reach peak fitness after early summer games against Flint and Accrington Stanley.
And courtesy of goals from Nathan Broadhead, Conor Grant, David Henen and Anton Donkor, a deserved victory showcased they were looking in great shape ahead of their Premier League 2 title defence.
In sweltering conditions that offered no clouds or breeze for shelter from the glaring sun, David Unsworth's side sustained an electric tempo from the first whistle to the last.
The opening chance came as early as the second minute as Calum Dyson played a precise reverse pass to put Antony Evans through on goal, but the keeper was out fast and able to block his shot.
Evans, impressive throughout his 50-minute outing, then turned architect as the Blues went 1-0 up. Receiving the ball on halfway, his cutting pass brought Broadhead in off the right and the Wales youth international slotted low into the far corner.
A deserved lead after a fast start of intent pressing and intricate play. Midfielder Grant then saw a shot saved before another deflected wide, but he would have the ball in the net on 13 minutes.
A short corner was eventually floated in and after Hull were unable to clear it out of the box, the ball dropped to Grant to drill home.
Dyson and Broadhead were then involved once more to help tee up Evans but again the goalkeeper was alert. A further save denied Harry Charsley, while Dyson headed narrowly over from an Evans cross.
Shortly before the interval, Evans was brought down inside the box but the referee waved play on. In truth, the Blues could have been ahead by far more than just the two goals after 45 minutes.
The second half started with the same veracity and Evans spurned a chance from close range, before he expertly found Gethin Jones surging forward on the right. The full-back's cross was an inch too high for Dyson.
Charsley then found the net with a calm finish but was adjudged to have been offside, but it wouldn't be long before a third goal was given. Donkor passed to Henen outside of the box and the Belgian's low drive had too much pace on it for the Tigers' stopper to keep out.
Bassala Sambou then headed against the post from a Luke Garbutt cross, before Grant seized possession and played a neat through pass to the Germany-born striker but his shot found the wrong side of the net.
Hull, who did not give Mateusz Hewelt a single save to make, were gifted a goal with 23 minutes left to play after a mix-up at the back.
Josh Bowler showed his threat by winning a free-kick. Grant's delivery went towards Sambou and Morgan Feeney at that back post but neither could convert.
The Tigers then saw a long-range drive hit the angle of crossbar and post before Hewelt was unable to hold on to a low cross and the loose ball was struck into the back of the net.
Moments before the end, the on-loan Donkor intercepted a pass, charged forward with the ball at speed and scored with a powerful drive.
A well-earned victory in tough conditions. The Young Blues will head home in 24 hours before looking to continue their unbeaten summer run with upcoming friendlies against Bangor City and Brentford.
Everton U23s: Hewelt, Jones (64' Bramall), Denny, Foulds (64' Feeney), Garbutt (64' Robinson), Baningime (61' Markelo), Grant (76' Byrne), Broadhead (55' Bowler), Evans (50' Henen), Charsley (55' Donkor), Dyson (50' Sambou).
Jack Kiersey's square pass on 21 minutes allowed Nathan Broadhead to score from 12 yards out and level for the Blues to cancel out Theo Archibald's opener for the Bees.
Pawel Zuk went close for Everton shortly before half time as did Sam Byrne early in the second half but Michael Forss then put Brentford back into the lead and Zain Westbrooke extended it via a free-kick from the edge of the box.
On loan winger Anton Donkor made it 2-3 before Danny Bramall set up Broadhead for his second to restored parity again at 3-3.
It was the visitors who finished the stronger, however, as Herson Alves struck the winner.
David Unsworth's young Blues beat Bangor City 2-0 thanks to goals by Bassala Sambou and Luke Garbutt.A team featuring several summer signings, including Josh Bowler and Lewis Gibson, along with Swansea City target Callum Connolly controlled the game against the Welsh club.
It was striker Sambou who scored first, though, just before half time before Garbutt added the second via the penalty spot midway through the second period.
Everton U23s:Gray, Jones, Garbutt, Baningime, Connolly, Gibson, Bowler, Charsley, Sambou, Evans, Dyson.
Subs: Foulds, Renshaw, Feeney, Grant, Broadhead, Markelo, Donkor.