Everton youngsters Anthony Gerrard and Daniel Fox have become
the Blues' first signings of the summer - and they are joined
by Icelandic teenager Bjarni Thor Vidarsson.
Blues Boss David Moyes has decided to reward both Gerrard and
Fox with their first professional contracts following an excellent
season, which has seen them progress from Academy level to reserve
Gerrard became a regular for Andy Holden's side in the
centre of defence, making 17 appearances last term, whilst Fox
managed to chalk up ten appearances of his own.
Both players will continue to work at the Academy but will also
be regular visitors to Bellefield where they will train with Moyes
and the senior players.
Academy Director Ray Hall said: "They will move on and work
with the first team squad as well as the Academy coaches from next
season and it's an exciting time. I'd like to congratulate
them and their families.
"They've worked so hard to achieve what they've
got. They've not been given it, they've actually earned it
and I hope the future is okay for them.
"I believe that at the moment we need good, strong, young
players coming through and I hope these two players who we have
nurtured for a number of years fit the bill."
Also signing in at Goodison today was 16-year-old midfielder
Vidarsson, an under-17 Icelandic international, who has signed a
similar deal to the one Patrizio Pascucci did last year.
Vidarsson will spend the first two years of his three-year deal
at the Academy headquarters in Netherton before signing
"We are in need of adding more quality to our Academy and
this is why we are now looking further a field to try and do
so," said Moyes.
Formerly of Iceland side FH, Vidarsson has been monitored by a
whole host of top clubs both in the Premiership and abroad but has
decided to start his full-time football education at Everton.
Hall added: "I saw him playing for the Icelandic under-17
team in the UEFA Qualifying championships in England. He was a year
younger than anybody else and perhaps the best testimony that can
be made to Bjarni is that possibly one of our better players in
midfield for England didn't get a kick that evening.
"There's been a lot of interest. I've been to
tournaments in Europe and people have been speaking about a young
midfielder from Iceland and you're biting your lip hoping that
things work out and today it has worked out."