Johan's Learning Curve

by Adam Clark
@Everton

For Johan Hammar, Everton's trip to Austria has been a steep learning curve in more ways than one.

The 18-year-old defender has discovered what is required to step up and train with the first-team, but also how to deal with the pranks that are part and parcel of life on tour.

Birthday boy Magaye Gueye had already been thrown fully-clothed into the swimming pool at the Club's base in Obertraun when Hammar made the unschooled error of standing beneath Leon Osman's bedroom window.

"I got a little bit wet," a rueful Hammar told evertontv. "But these are the things you have to deal with and you learn something new every day."

As for his involvement in first-team training, Hammar couldn't ask for more.

"It's a good experience to be alongside the gaffer and the first-team players as well, to see how they're doing things and to get used to the tempo that hopefully you'll be playing at in the future," he added.

"Obviously it's much quicker than what I'm used to and you have to concentrate 100 per cent all the time, so it's not just tough physically, it's tough mentally as well. But you get used to it."

Last season Hammar's progress was stunted by a succession of untimely injuries. Now, having successfully battled back to full fitness, the Swede is pleased to see his patience and persistence is paying off.

"It was very tough last year and this [training with the first team] is kind of a reward," he said. "Hard work pays off, doesn't it? If you work hard in the gym you get these kind of rewards."

Now the youngster is targetting a regular slot in Alan Stubbs' reserve side - and sweet revenge on that man Osman.
 
"I'll get him back," he promised. "But, yes, I want to play with the reserves and get a few games there. I don't know, maybe if a good loan comes up I'll go there but first of all I just want to play with the reserves."

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