EVERTON’S academy hopefuls have hit the ground running since returning from their eventful trip to play in the Dallas Cup.
The young blues thrashed Crewe Alexandra 5-2 last weekend, as they showed no signs of tiredness from their participation in the prestigious US competition.
Hallam Hope and Anton Forester both bagged braces, after Matthew Pennington scored the opener, to keep spirits high after an impressive few weeks.
Coach Kevin Sheedy believes his players enjoyed a rich learning curve across the Atlantic, as they reached the semi-finals of the Dallas Cup, where they were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United.
“We were pleased to get to the semi-final,” he says. “We took a very young squad to what was an U-20 competition where most teams were full of players right at that age limit.
“Because of injuries and other things, we used our U15s goalkeeper, Russell Griffith and a few U16s players like Gethin Jones, Oliver Shannon, Courtney Duffus and Jake Adelson.
“Our more experienced lads like Luke Garbutt, Jake Bidwell and Conor McAleny are all out on loan but we soldiered on.”
One player who did make the trip was Ross Barkley, and the highly-rated midfielder scored the only goal as Everton defeated eventual cup winners, Brazilian side Coritiba.
The Toffees went on to lose 4-3 to Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol, before thrashing Bolivar 6-0 on their way to the last four.
“The economical passing, the simple techniques and the movement off the ball – they're things we haven't really come up against before,” said Sheedy. “The Japanese team played like Barcelona. They were technically superb. Overall I’m happy.”