Youngsters Daniel Fox and Anthony Gerrard signed professional
contracts with the club on Wednesday, but despite their delight
they know that a sustained effort is required from them both if
they are to progress to the first team.
The defenders, both 18-years of age, have established themselves
as reserve team regulars after impressing at Under-19 level during
the course of the 2003/4 campaign, but now have their targets set
Fox made ten appearances for the Blues' second string last
season, while Gerrard, who has represented the Republic of
Ireland's Under-18 side, accumulated 17 over the course of the
past ten months.
Both know that they face a real battle to get into David
Moyes' first-team plans but are convinced that if they
don't make it, it won't be down to a lack of effort on
Gerrard told evertonfc.com: "One of my main ambitions is to
play for Everton. I set myself targets every year and I want to
either get on the bench or make an appearance for the first team
"It's going to be extremely difficult. In fact,
it's going to be like the past two years at Academy level
rolled into one. All my hard work, all my desire, all my efforts
are going into next year.
"I've been relaxing for the last three days, but I
think I'm going to have to start training again because I want
to be fitter than the first team when they come back! I want to
prove a point and show them what I'm made of."
Huyton-born Gerrard has been a member of the Blues' Academy
since he was eight years old, while Fox joined the club from
Liverpool when he was thirteen. Fox, who hails from Cheshire is
now based on Merseyside for what he hopes will be a long
association with Everton.
"Hopefully, I can progress like I did last year," he
said. "Hopefully, I can get a good few reserve team games
under my belt and I can get myself in the manager's thoughts
for next season.
"I just need to keep my head down and carry on working
well. There's a few left-backs who have made the grade here,
I'm hoping to be another. I've worked hard since I've
been here and I know that I've got a lot of hard work to
"I've been a Blue all my life and I can't really
put in to words what it means for me to sign a professional
contract with the club. I'm delighted to sign and hopefully
this is the start of a good professional career for me."