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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Conor Grant says he is overjoyed to have signed his first professional contract with Everton.

Grant penned a two-year-deal on Wednesday, the latest high point of a summer which has already seen him make two first-team friendly appearances.

The midfielder, who joined Everton's Academy when he was just 13-years-old, admitted a pro deal with his boyhood club was something he had dreamed of since he was a small child.

Grant told evertontv: “I’m delighted to sign it. As a boy you dream of being a professional footballer and for the day to finally come, it is a dream come true.

“At a club like Everton, who I’ve grown up watching and supporting, it’s a dream."

The versatile 18-year-old was part of the Everton squad which travelled to Austria earlier this month and the Fazakerley-born youngster found it an enjoyable experience.

“Pre-season has been very good,” said Grant. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from the new manager and his backroom staff.

“It was a great experience to be involved with such experienced international players and you can only learn from them.”

After their four-day training camp in the small town of Laa an der Thaya, the Blues journeyed to the capital, where they faced the domestic champions Austria Vienna.

Grant was included in the matchday squad for the fixture, making it onto the pitch as a substitute in the second half for a 20-minute cameo.

“It was a great experience with the crowd coming to watch you and to put on the shirt for the first team was another dream come true," he added. "Hopefully there will be a few more [appearances for the first team]."

Another substitute appearance came in the Blues’ 4-1 defeat of Accrington three days later and Grant would welcome any further opportunities that come his way.

“It was a big confidence boost that the manager had the faith to put me in the team and, obviously, I was delighted to get more minutes," he explained.

“It was nice with the fans coming to watch and I’d like to try to show what I can do again.
“The manager and his coaching staff have been very good to me, they’ve been giving me a lot of feedback. It’s impossible not to learn from a manager like the one we’ve got and his backroom staff. They’re such nice people and they’re always giving me advice."

Watch Saturday's game against Blackburn Rovers LIVE on evertontv. For more information or to buy, click here.

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