Prove We're Best In The Land

by Matthew Gamble

Everton Under-18s are playing for the title of best youth team in the country on Friday night.

The young Blues take on Fulham at Craven Cottage in the final of the FA Premier Academy League competition.

To get this far, the Toffees had to win a league competition that included Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City.

They then beat Aston Villa who had themselves won a similarly strong league.

"If you win the league then you are without a doubt the best team in it," coach Neil Dewsnip told "Now we have to finish it off at Fulham tomorrow evening.

"If we win then we have every right to say we are the best team in the country."

Everton played their semi-final first and were able to watch the Cottagers defeat Sunderland in their last four clash.

"Preparations have been good," continued Dewsnip. "We had a great win on Monday, a couple of low tempo days of training and then we picked it up again today and we are ready. We are looking forward to it."

"Kevin Sheedy and Kevin O'Brien (academy goalkeeping coach) went to watch Fulham in their semi-final and were very impressed.

"We can't remember playing them in a competitive fixture at under-18 level and we know we have our work cut out.

"But our section is tough to win and that and getting past Villa gives us confidence."

Everton will be without Hallam Hope and John Lundstram who have been with the England Under-17s in Serbia.

Click here for details on watching the game at Craven Cottage.

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