Seamus Coleman says he has been handed a ‘massive boost’ on his road to recovery after signing a new five-year contract with Everton.
The 28-year-old full-back, who suffered a double fracture of his right leg during the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier with Wales in March, has put pen to paper on a long-term deal, which ties him to the Blues until the summer of 2022.
The deal was agreed before Coleman went away on international duty but the defender revealed he received a message from Everton Chairman, Bill Kenwright, within hours of sustaining his season-ending injury to say the contract was still waiting for him as soon as he was ready to sign it.
“I’m delighted to get this signed,” Coleman told evertontv. “I’ve been here for a long time and it’s a special Club that means a lot to me.
“Everything had been agreed and I was due to sign it after the international break but unfortunately I got the injury. The Chairman messaged me the night of my injury and said, ‘Don’t worry about it because when you come back this contract is still waiting for you’. That sums up what the Chairman and this Club is all about.
“Farhad Moshiri also sent me cards and said the support was always going to be there. I’m delighted with how the Club has handled the situation. Knowing that I was going to come back and sign it has definitely helped things. It’s a massive boost and gives me something to fight for.
“I want to prove my worth when I come back and show the Club were right for rewarding me with this long-term contract.”
Signed from Sligo Rovers for just £60,000 in January 2009, Coleman has since blossomed into of the best attacking full-backs in the Premier League.
During his eight years at Goodison Park he has made 247 appearances in all competitions for the Blues, scoring 24 goals.
And, after committing his long-term future to the Club, the Republic of Ireland captain said he’s really excited about what the next five years could hold.
“I’m really excited by the way things are going and the players we have signed,” he said.
“This season has been good and we’ve got Europa League football next season to look forward to. It’s exciting and it’s all about pushing ourselves. I’m really happy that I am going to be here for the foreseeable future.
“I think I’ve been very lucky with the Club that I moved over from Ireland to join. I left my family back home and I joined another family over here. There have been ups and downs in my playing career - like everything - but thankfully the Club reward you when you are doing well.
“This was an important contract. I’m at a good age now and I think the Club are showing good ambition and going in the right direction, so it’s really exciting.”
Coleman also confirmed his recovery has ‘well and truly started’ as he looks forward to the day when he can pull on an Everton shirt again.
“It’s a case of not doing too much too soon – it’s just baby steps at the moment - but I am getting on well so far,” he added.
“I’m starting to put more weight through the leg and I have got no pain. I’m back doing a good bit in the gym and in the pool. I’m doing exercise every day, so the recovery has well and truly started. I’m really looking forward to putting on that Blue shirt again.”