Everton Under-23s celebrated at USM Finch Farm on Tuesday morning after being crowned Premier League 2 champions.
It was confirmed David Unsworth’s side would finish top of the table following Liverpool’s 3-2 victory over second-placed Manchester City on Monday evening.
The entire Under-23s squad, including several youngsters who are now part of the first team, and coaching staff got together at the Club’s training ground to briefly revel in their triumph - before heading out to train ahead of their final game of the season.
That game is the Merseyside mini-derby on Monday 8 May (7pm kick-off), with supporters invited to attend the game for FREE in a bid to further boost the young Blues’ Home Is Where The Heart Is campaign.
Captain Jonjoe Kenny believes the squad’s team spirit was key to their achievements this season.
“We’re all made up,” he said. “The lads deserve it, they have been brilliant all season. I think the togetherness and team spirit we have - we all get along very well - has been key to our success.”
Midfielder Liam Walsh pointed out his favourite moment of the campaign so far - and outlined his excitement ahead of the Toffees’ final game of the term against Liverpool.
“We’re buzzing, it’s a big thing for us,” he said. “I’d probably say my favourite moment of the season was our game against Southampton at Goodison - there was a big crowd there, we had to perform and we did.
“Now we have the derby to look forward to. Everyone wants to win the derbies. Hopefully there will be a lot of fans at Goodison again and hopefully we’re going to get the guard of honour from them. It’s a chance to show how good we are.”
Meanwhile, defender Antonee Robinson revealed the moment he discovered it was confirmed Everton were champions.
“I was at my mate’s house and he had a stream of the game,” said Robinson. “We were buzzing at the final whistle. Everyone was watching it in different places but we were all texting each other!
“It felt brilliant coming in this morning, it is such a big achievement and we are so happy it has been confirmed.”
For supporters wishing to attend the Merseyside mini derby on 8 May, there will be donation buckets around Goodison to help raise much-needed funds for the Under-23s’ ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ project, which is seeking to raise £230,000 to house a living initiative for young people on the brink of homelessness across the city of Liverpool.
The funds raised will be used to purchase, and operate, a house close to Goodison, which will offer 16 to 23-year-olds who have fallen on hard times, or have perhaps fallen out of the care system, a roof over their heads.
For more information, and details on how to donate to the campaign, click here.