Dowell already looking ahead to pre-season

, 18 May, 23comments  |  Jump to most recent

Kieran Dowell was buzzing after making his full Everton debut against Norwich on Saturday and he says he now wants to hit the ground running next season so he can be involved in first-team football, either back in the first team or out on loan.

The 18-year-old got his much-anticipated first start in the final match of the season and rewarded David Unsworth's faith in him by playing a part in two of the Blues' three goals before making way for Ross Barkley in the second half.

Alongside his fellow Academy graduates Tom Davies, Matthew Pennington and Jonjoe Kenny, Dowell illustrated the strength of the crop of youngsters who are now on the cusp of the senior side with their impressive displays in what was an uplifting game to close out a poor season.

“I got a little hint [that I would be playing] leading up to the game,' Dowell said in the Liverpool Echo. “I told my mum and dad, but I didn't tell anyone else.

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“There were loads of my family and friends here today. We didn't confirm to them that I was starting but said just come in case. It was unbelievable.

“I keep saying, it was one of the best days of my life. The reception from the fans was unbelievable and to start was like a dream.

“It felt proper. No disrespect to Krasnodar, but that was a dead-rubber and today was with the full team and it just felt proper with a full stadium. It was brilliant.”

The close season promises to be one of significant change at Everton, with a new managerial appointment in the offing following the sacking of Roberto Martinez and the expected departure of a number of players.

Dowell will be hopeful of being part of the new boss's plans but he knows that regardless of who succeeds Martinez, pre-season will be important.

“It's all about pre-season in the summer, how the manager feels and it's up to him,” Dowell continued. I want to be playing games no matter what, whether that be here or on loan, I don't mind. But the aim is to hit the ground running next season.”


Reader Comments (23)

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Andy Osborne
1 Posted 18/05/2016 at 07:07:22
It's great to have a few young lads coming through who obviously live and breath "Everton".

Dowell and Kenny looked the real deal against Norwich, but I thought that Tom Davies was outstanding. Ross will have to up his game with this exciting 17 year old clipping at his heels.

Charlie Lloyd
2 Posted 18/05/2016 at 07:58:05
The academy is key to our progress. If we can produce about 3 genuine first teamers and retain them for a while it can save over £50 million these days. Money to be invested in further strengthening.

What is also heartening is the academy has lots of local lads who are quality. We seems to scout the best locally and then develop well.

The academy coaches / scouts deserve lots of praise for their work.

Denis Richardson
3 Posted 18/05/2016 at 08:12:56
Been a while since we have a proper crop of academy players coming through. Hopefully a couple can nail down a place in the senior squad for years to come.
Tony Hill
4 Posted 18/05/2016 at 08:44:56
I think he's going to be great for us. He needs to develop strength, of course, but he's an elegant player and with proper guidance he can become the sort of playmaker and scorer we've lacked.
Ed Fitzgerald
5 Posted 18/05/2016 at 08:57:08
I really hope these young players do come through. My concern is as soon as they struggle for a few games it is the local lads who have played for Everton who often end up the whipping boys for the crowd and many posters on here, that's been going on for years.
Gerard Carey
6 Posted 18/05/2016 at 09:23:44
Love his attitude, his desire to get started on a good pre season etc. Hope the new manager feels the same way. Our squad what with players going and coming during the summer need to hit the ground running for the new season.
Barry Pearce
7 Posted 18/05/2016 at 09:43:42
This lad is sheer class.

Charlie#2 your right the the scouts, and the coaches do deserve s lot of praise.

I hope I'm right and not dreaming, I really believe we have more than a few, who are ready to be involved with the first team.

If your good enough your old enough. COYB.

Rahman Talib
8 Posted 18/05/2016 at 09:57:02
It's time to give our young lads a chance. We have so many potential superstars.

Give them a break FFS.

You hear me???

Paul Thompson
9 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:40:22
He's a very different kind of player to Davies. Comparisons to Sheedy are not far from the mark, He's not a busy player, but has a very good football brain, a lovely left foot and an eye for goal. I'd like to see him in the squad for next season rather than go out on loan, but either way, I think there's a decent chance he will make it.
Ian Burns
10 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:47:15
Ed - 5 - I completely agree that these young lads need to see encouragement but importantly patience from the supporters, as they are bound to make mistakes as it is the only way they will learn.

Dowell; Kenny; Davies; Connolly; Pennington; Garbutt, Holgate; Galloway; to name just a few. If these boys plus others come through and make a name for themselves at EFC, we have a fantastic future.

Tony Hill
11 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:51:59
Haven't heard much lately of Holgate but from what I saw when he first arrived he could be pure gold.

Again, of course, it's a matter of building them all up properly and, indeed, being patient. Genuinely exciting though.

Les Martin
12 Posted 18/05/2016 at 11:56:56
Its important that these players are nurtured and allowed to develop. I hope that they are sent out on loan again next season. Yes, there will be a clamour for them to play in the first team but they still need playing time.

A few months in the Championship will toughen them up, and it can only do them good. Patience is needed here folks....

The future is certainly bright and its Blue.

Barry Pearce
13 Posted 18/05/2016 at 12:43:53
Ed# I really can't understand that, how they get on the local lads backs. They embrace them when they make the team. Like you say, these lads should be afforded time to mature, and should receive every encouragement.

As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Alasdair Mackay
14 Posted 18/05/2016 at 13:33:23
Great news that the academy are producing lots of potential, but it is just that – potential!

There have been lots of kids that break through and then fall short – we all raved about Duffy, Forshaw, Baxter and Wallace when they came through, but all fell short of Premier League standard. Barkley is the exception not the rule and we bought Stones and Galloway, so he remains the only true first-team academy prospect of the last decade.

Being hyper-critical for the sake of argument, I thought Dowell was smashing with the ball at his feet, but lacked a little bit of awareness at times. He was also more reluctant than others to get back behind the ball. Still a fantastic prospect, but he needs to get stronger without losing his pace with the ball (try and be more Ronaldo).

Tom Davies is outstanding. He needs to build up and I hope he doesn't fade when he loses that youthful enthusiasm. His awareness, first touch and strength relative to size has all been fantastic in the minutes I have seen him. Reminds me of a Scholes/Modric hybrid – which would be nice.

Pennington looks more like a traditional centre-half than a right back, but lacks the physical stature for it. Like a slightly less polished Stones. He has competition from Holgate and Galloway, though (as well as Funes Mori, Jagielka and Stones himself, if he stays).

Jonjoe Kenny was great against Norwich. I really hope he kicks on and doesn't lose a step (enthusiasm) once he establishes himself at the pro level. He really could solve a problem for us. If he slotted in as Coleman's long-term replacement for the next 8 years or so, it could mean that (including Hibbert) we will have had a run of first team right-backs that goes – academy, £60k, academy. And spanning nearly a quarter of a century. Not bad.

Like I said, we have brought through one first-teamer in 10 years, so the chances that all these lads become Everton regulars are slim to none, but if we can bring two of them through in the next two seasons, it will be a sign that we have improved this part of the club massively since amalgamating the facilities to allow them to train in the same place as the First Team.

I would also like to see more of Ledson. I think he has a chance.

Keith Glazzard
15 Posted 18/05/2016 at 14:25:52
Let's see who the new boss is and then say what happens next.
But the young lads did look ready to step up, Davies has to be a fantastic prospect. Dowell different, but so much potential. And J-Hibbo Kelly, who will score for us one day! Put Seamus up into midfield!
We now rely on the board, who at last made a good decision, to get it right for the crucial appointment. But whoever he is, he must realise he has already got millions of pounds in the bank, as it were.
Paul Ellam
16 Posted 18/05/2016 at 15:06:07
After shooting my mouth off about JP Kissock to my non Everton mates I have to be careful with who I put my faith in now!
I have to admit though that we seem to have a rich seam of good youth players at present.
Garbutt was great when he came in and I expect to see more of him and I have been particularly impressed with Dowell (could solve left wing problem) Davies (looks like he could play first team already) and other defenders Galloway, Browning, Holgate, Pennington and Kenny. Add them to Ledson and Williams and we have a great chance of seeing the next Ross Barkley very soon.
Lots to be cheerful about really, adding to new investor, new manager, new players and new stadium!
Barry Pearce
17 Posted 18/05/2016 at 15:46:47
Don't forget Liam Walsh lads.

He had a great loan spell at Yeovil. Was man of the match on more than one occasion. Same attributes as Tom Davies. These two could boss our midfield in the near future.

Barry Pearce
18 Posted 18/05/2016 at 15:54:30
My apologies to the female contributors.
Terry White
19 Posted 18/05/2016 at 16:01:48
Paul (#16) sorry to partially spoil your dreams. As many people on here who look at the videos of U21 games know, Dowell is left footed but likes to come inside from the right on his left foot. He is NOT a left sided player. He is much more like our home grown version of Yarmolenko.
Steavey Buckley
20 Posted 18/05/2016 at 16:10:37
A lot of credit must go to David Unsworth for preparing so many players from the under 21s for the 1st team - David Unsworth worth a chance as 1st team manager with Joe Royle as his able assistant? They are all blues, with the same colour running through their veins.
Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 18/05/2016 at 19:45:41
Gentlemen, you've all overlooked the one I consider the most impressive of all the young players.

Conor McAleny.

Ian and Paul, has either of you seen Garbutt this season? I have. Forget it. He's a left foot and no composure. Complete disaster for Fulham this season... had to apologize to the fans at one point. Destined for League One at best.

Galloway is the future at LB in my opinion.

Dave Williams
22 Posted 18/05/2016 at 23:15:00
Royle and Unsworth are at least as good a bet to succeed as a foreign guy who has not worked in England. They know the youngsters, joe has the experience and Unsy has the drive and ambition plus a love of the club and an understanding of how we operate.

I was very impressed with Unsy at the weekend and would give them my vote.

Anto Byrne
23 Posted 19/05/2016 at 17:24:31
Big ask for a couple or three teenagers to perform week-in & week-out. Martinez persisted with Stones and Barkley and even though we had some capable youngsters in Connolly and Pennington he preferred Besic and Oviedo and even Osman.

I don't expect we will see much of these kids unless we bring in a manager like De Boer, Mourinho will want tried and trusted and instant success. Tell ya what, tho, gimme a team full of kids with some old heads any day.

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