Blues To Play In Premier League 2

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David Unsworth will lead Everton’s youngsters into a newly-launched Premier League 2 competition during 2016/17.

This new format replaces the old Under-21 Premier League and sees the age limit for players rise to Under-23.

The rules regarding over-age players will remain the same, where each team can field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to three “over-age” outfield players in every match.

It is a change welcomed by coach Unsworth who believes the revamp is a positive move for developing young professional footballers.

“The Premier League are listening to a lot of Under-21 coaches,” Unsworth said. “The hardest thing to do at this level is to get everyone on the same page and getting everybody to agree to changes. We certainly feel it’s a step in the right direction.

“The aim of the age shift is that we think there are going to be more older players and, on average, older squads playing.

“The best way to develop players is have them playing at a level that will test them every week.”

Everton will compete in Premier League 2, Division 1 during 2016/17, playing 22 fixtures - facing the other 11 teams both home and away.

Joining Everton in the top-flight are clubs including Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

David Unsworth’s Young Blues open the campaign away against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday 15 August.

August 2016
Monday 15  - Tottenham Hotspur (A) - The Lamex Stadium, 7pm
Monday 22 - Derby County (H) - Goodison Park, 7pm
Thursday 25 - Leicester City (A) - TBC, 7pm

September 2016
Saturday 10 - Sunderland (H) - Goodison Park, 7pm
Monday 19 - Arsenal (A) - Boredom Wood FC, 7pm
Monday 26 - Manchester United (H) - Southport, 7pm

October 2016
Monday 17 - Reading (A) - TBC, 7pm
Sunday 23 - Liverpool (A) - TBC, 1pm
Monday 31 - Chelsea (H) - Southport, 7pm

November 2016
Saturday 19 - Manchester City (H) - Goodison Park, 7pm
Monday 28 - Southampton (A) - Staplewood Training Ground, 7pm

December 2016
Monday 12 - Leicester City (H) - Southport, 7pm

January 2017
Sunday 8 - Sunderland (A) - Eppleton Colliery Welfare, 12pm
Monday 16 - Reading (H) - Goodison Park, 7pm
Monday 30 - Manchester United (A) - TBC, 7pm

February 2017
Monday 6 - Arsenal (H) - Southport, 7pm
Monday 20 - Southampton (H) - Goodison Park, 7pm

March 2017
Friday 3 - Manchester City (A) - TBC, 7pm
Monday 13 - Derby County (A) - iPRO Stadium, 7pm

April 2017
Monday 10 - Tottenham Hotspur (H) - Southport, 7pm
Friday 21 - Chelsea (A) - Aldershot Town FC, 7.05pm

May 2017
Monday 8 - Liverpool (H) - Southport, 7pm

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