David Unsworth

by Matthew Gamble

David Unsworth had two spells at Everton as a player before returning for a third time in a coaching capacity in September 2013.

The Goodison favourite took up a position within the Club’s Under-21s setup alongside his former teammate Alan Stubbs, before full-time taking control of the team at the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

During Unsworth’s time to date as head coach of the Under-21s, a number young players progressed to make their first-team debuts for Everton.

These included Brendan Galloway, Gethin Jones, Ryan Ledson, Kieran Dowell, Matthew Pennington and, most recently, Callum Connolly, Tom Davies.

During the 2015/16 season, Unsworth steered Everton Under-21s to a third-place finish in the league table, which included a six-match unbeaten end to the campaign.

Unsworth started his career with the Blues and made his way through the youth system before making his debut away at Tottenham in April 1992.

Unsworth found first team chances hard to come by and it wasn't until Joe Royle's appointment as manager that he cemented a place in the starting XI. He was part of the 1995 FA Cup Final winning team against Manchester United but he later departed for West Ham in a swap deal for Danny Williamson at the start of the 1997/98 season.

Unsworth's time in the capital would be brief and he returned north after only one season, signing for Aston Villa for £3m. His time at Villa Park would be even shorter though, and he returned to Goodison Park without ever making an appearance for the Villans.

He remained at Goodison Park for a further six seasons playing regularly under both Walter Smith and then David Moyes. Indeed, following the appointment of Moyes as manager, the defender scored the first goal of the 
new era after 27 seconds against Fulham as the Blues started with a win.

At the start of the 2002 season Unsworth was granted a testimonial against Athletic Bilbao to mark his long service for the club but his time at Goodison would soon come to an end as he departed for Portsmouth in 2004.
Unsworth fell out of favour at Fratton Park and spent the remainder of the 2004/05 season on loan at Ipswich before signing a three-year deal with Sheffield United in 2005.

After helping the Blades secure promotion to the Premier League he soon left for Wigan and in a cruel twist of fate he scored the penalty that kept the Latics in the top flight - condemning the Blades to the Championship in the process.

After spells with Burnley and Huddersfield he retired from football in 2009 but moved into coaching with Preston North End as development coach before becoming first team coach at Deepdale.

Following the appointment of Graham Westley as managed he was deemed surplus to requirements and subsequently took up a role at former club Sheffield United. Unsworth was named as assistant to Chris Morgan for the remainder of the 2012/13 season before departing when former Everton teammate David Weir took charge of the Blades.

In September 2013 he returned back home to Goodison to become assistant manager of the Under-21 side under another former teammate in Stubbs.

And the following summer when Stubbs was appointed ad Hibernian boss, Unsworth took up the mantle of leading the Under-21s in the interim period before assuming the position on a permanent basis.