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Jags Eyes Career Stay

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

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Phil Jagielka has revealed he hopes to stay at Everton Football Club for the rest of his career.

Earlier this week the England international agreed a two-year extension to his current deal that will see his Goodison career reach a decade in 2017.

After joining from Sheffield United in 2007, Jagielka has since become a formidable presence in the heart of the Blues' defence and has captained the side in Phil Neville's absence.

And speaking exclusively to evertontv upon agreeing his extension, the centre-half admitted he wants to end his playing days at Goodison Park.

"I hope I do," he said. "I love being here and the Club have obviously not minded extending my deal for another two years so I'm looking forward to the future.

"I really enjoy playing here. It wasn't a long discussion to extend my contract - I was delighted to do so. I'm proud to be part of this Club and especially if we keep going forward the way we are at the moment, maybe there'll be another contract extension in a few years to come.

"It was really hard for me to leave Sheffield United having come through the ranks and having been given me my first big chance there, but Everton is a massive club. I spoke to my family at the time and we knew it was the right move to make.

"When I came, I was a little bit of a utility player - I used to play midfield, right-back and centre-back without really nailing down a position.

"But with the guidance not only of the manager and his coaching staff, but the players around me and the more experienced ones, I managed to settle down at centre-half and it's not been too bad since then."

With fellow central defender Sylvain Distin continuing to impress at the age of 35, Jagielka admits the Frenchman's performances offer encouragement that he too could stay on top of his game for years to come.

He said: "With the sports science, the equipment, the fitness coaches and the physio team around us, it does help you progress further.

"Sylvain is a fantastic professional. You wouldn't think he was the age he is - you'd think he would be close to 10 years younger with the way he plays and that's a credit to him.

"You look at Phil Neville as well, he's not the youngest and he recently played his 500th Premier League game. If you can keep yourself fit and on top of your game like Sylvain has been doing, I'm sure he has another year or two in him."

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