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


Sylvain Distin hopes to assist Everton manager Roberto Martinez both on the field and off it after last week extending his Goodison Park stay for another year.

Three days after penning a year-long contract extension, the Frenchman was his usual commanding self in the weekend win over Aston Villa, returning from injury to help the Blues get back on track following the setback at Anfield.

But the Frenchman is willing be just as dependable for Martinez behind the scenes, with the Spaniard having handed youth an opportunity since taking over at Goodison Park.

Distin, 36, has over 400 Premier League appearances to his name and he is happy to use this experience to benefit the Club’s developing talents in any way possible.

Indeed, the Frenchman revealed that he has already acted as a mentor to 19-year-old John Stones, who has enjoyed a run of games in the first-team since the turn of the year.

Distin told “I’m at a point in my career where it is good to pass on my experience and if some of the lads are receptive and want to listen, then why not?

“I’ve always been like that and it’s not because anyone has asked me. I try to help them and the best way to do that is not to make their lives difficult.

“We have a great example in John Stones, who is an amazing player.

“I remember when I got injured and he played his first game . I told him to make sure that I wasn’t getting back into this team and that it’s his job to keep me out of the squad.

“That’s football and I try to pass on a bit of my experience. Football is about challenges and competition.”

Distin has been at Everton since 2009 and he says the optimism around Finch Farm at present is as high as he has known it in his five years at Goodison.

The Blues can give their morale another boost this Sunday when they travel to play Tottenham, where victory would put four points between the clubs.

He added: “The atmosphere since I have been here has always been amazing and that’s very important. One of the strengths is that we are a real team and we enjoy playing and training with each other.

“It doesn’t mean that we all love each other but we definitely enjoy spending time with each other. You always judge a squad on results so we can talk about it at the end of the season.”

Watch Distin, Stones and their Everton teammates face Crystal Palace in the next game at Goodison on Wednesday 12 February.

To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878*. Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.

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