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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Everton Under-18s coach Kevin Sheedy believes winning the Gothia Cup will have helped his young players overcome an important mental barrier.

Under Sheedy's guidance, the young Blues reached the quarter-final or the FA Youth Cup and the semi-finals of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League last season but bowed out to Norwich City and Reading respectively.

A squad boasting several of the players who experienced those disappointments has now kicked off this campaign on a triumphant note.

And Sheedy told evertontv: "We're very pleased. It was a tremendous effort from the players. It was a really tough schedule in really difficult conditions and the players handled themselves really well, performed well in the games and got better as the competition went on.

"Last season we got to the quarter-finals of the Youth Cup and the semi-finals of the league and lost on both occasions, so mentally this will have done them the world of good."

New Everton manager Roberto Martinez has already expressed his desire to filter an attacking ethos down through the Club's Academy age groups and Sheedy added: "It's quite refreshing to know that the manager will be interested in the Academy.

"Certainly we'll be taking his lead in terms of the style of football, though we play a similar style of football to what he likes anyway - from the back, through midfield and we get the players to pass the ball to each other and improve.

"But anything he can help us with will be great."

Watch the video above to see Sheedy discuss more on the Gothia Cup, player of the tournament Ryan Ledson and his hopes for the latest group of Under-18 scholars*.

* If you are using the Official Everton App, please navigate to the 'Video' section.

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