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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Stones Ready To Learn

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Teenager John Stones has admitted his delight at joining Everton and says learning from his new teammates can only make him a better player.

The 18-year-old right-back completed a switch from hometown club Barnsley on Thursday evening, penning a five-and-a-half year deal.

An England Under-19 international, Stones made 28 appearances for the Oakwell outfit but now can't wait to get to grips with life at Goodison Park.

"It's been a long day but an exciting day for me and my family," he said in his exclusive first interview with evertontv. "It doesn't feel real and it hasn't sunk in yet but I feel very happy and very proud.

John Stones

"There are a few nerves because it's a new challenge for me. Every player wants to play in the Premier League and I've left an amazing club which is very close to my heart and left some very good people back there who I can't thank enough. But I've joined an amazing club, I'm here at Everton now and I'm looking forward to every minute of it."

Having joined Barnsley aged just six, Stones made his first-team debut in March last year and quickly established himself as one of the brightest young talents outside the top flight.

"I'm a hard working player and I'll give everything for the team, which every other player here does," he said. "I like to get forward a lot but I'm a defender and that's my job, defending."

And knowing he has joined a club with European qualification in its sights, the new signing added: "I've been impressed with Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, Sylvain Distin - these are consistent players, very highly rated players, international players who I've got the luck to work with now.

“Steven Pienaar, Leon Osman, I could go on all day. I'm looking forward to learning from these players.

"The experience they've got is priceless and to train with them and learn from them will benefit me, no doubt.

"I've been very impressed with everything I have seen at Finch Farm already. Now the hard work begins."

Tickets for Saturday's visit of Aston Villa are still available. To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878.

Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or Ticket Quarter in Queen Square.

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