Roberto Martinez believes the recent form of Everton’s youth teams highlights the level of talent contained within the Club’s Academy.
Both the Under-18 and Under-21 sides have made excellent starts to the season and are challenging at the top of their respective league tables.
Kevin Sheedy’s scholars have won seven of their opening eight matches and sit second in the league table, four points off top spot but with three games in hand.
Likewise, Alan Stubbs’ young Blues currently find themselves on a five-match unbeaten run and most recently secured a well-deserved point against Manchester United.
Martinez was one of the 6,000 spectators in attendance for Monday evening’s game at Goodison Park, and he left delighted with what he saw from Everton’s burgeoning starlets.
“It's very exciting and when you see a performance like that [on Monday] it gives you an incredible feeling of satisfaction of all the hard work that’s been put in on dark nights and evenings at Finch Farm," the Blues boss told evertontv.
“I know there has been an unbeaten run but I thought the game the Under-21s had at Goodison on Monday night against Manchester United was a terrific game of football. It was a fantastic performance that I consider as a victory in the way that we were clever enough to get on the ball and play.
“I thought we showed great football concepts and you saw young players developing and also showing the potential they have and that they are going to be future professionals.
“What’s also been impressive is the work-rate that has been put in during training - it would be very unfair just to assess the performances through the results.
“Everyone deserves huge credit for that. It’s a moment to enjoy but we have to remember to prolong the hard work for the rest of the season.”
The relocation from Bellefield to Finch Farm in 2007 allowed the Club’s Academy players and young professionals to train alongside the first-team at the Halewood complex.
Martinez says that this move, along with the efforts of the hard-working Academy staff, is bearing fruit and producing a ‘conveyor belt’ of players that could potentially enjoy long careers at Goodison Park.
The Spaniard continued: “Remember we are a very tight unit behind the scenes and we are a family football club. Many clubs try to sell that image but we have got it – we don’t have to show anything that is not the truth. To have the Under-9s all the way through to the first team at Finch Farm really helps.
“The relationship with Alan Irvine and Alan Stubbs is really close and is a very good working relationship. It’s been really important to experiment with different things over the last few months and you can see the results on the pitch.
“All we want is for the players to have a proper opportunity to develop as good human beings and good footballers as much as we can, because that would make a conveyor belt of talent becoming professionals.
“The recruitment at the lower ages groups is more than good – it’s very impressive. And now that gives us an opportunity to work with them all the way through.
“It’s exciting to see the professionals in every group age doing such a remarkable and well-structured job that is going to benefit the football club long-term.”