David Unsworth says lifting the Premier League 2 trophy in front of a bumper home crowd will be the “icing on the cake” for Everton’s title-winning Under-23s.
The young Blues will be recognised for an outstanding campaign when they are presented with their medals following tonight’s mini-derby at Goodison Park.
Everton were confirmed as champions a fortnight ago but will bring their victorious season to a close against Liverpool, with kick-off at 7pm.
And Unsworth is hoping a bumper crowd turns out to watch the fixture, which is free for all supporters to attend.
“It’s going to be a fitting end to a great season for all the Under-23s boys and it would be great if as many people as possible can turn up to support them,” he said. “We’re playing against a really good Liverpool team, who’ve had a great season as well, who are third in the league - so it’s got all the makings of a great game. And it will just be great to just lift the trophy in front of so many Evertonians.
“The players deserve it because they’re the ones who’ve crossed the white line and put in the performances and got the results and it’s all down to them. When we had the Southampton game at Goodison there was 5,000 there and that was great for the players. But to have upwards of that on a lovely evening, it’s hopefully going to be a very special Goodison occasion.”
Everton have lost just three of their 21 league fixtures this season, winning 15 on their way to sealing top spot.
In that time, the young Blues have netted 47 goals - more than two per game - while conceding just 19.
And Unsworth says his players have earned the celebrations that will follow the full-time whistle.
“I’ll be very proud,” he added. “Over the period we’ve been the best team, consistently we’ve been outstanding and myself, John [Ebbrell] and the staff will stand there and see a really top, talented group of young players get what they deserve.
“For that to be at Goodison in front of all our fans is just the icing on the cake.”
With a sizeable crowd expected for Monday’s match, supporters - including Season Ticket holders - are reminded they must have a match ticket to enter the stadium. These are currently available at both Everton Two and the Goodison Park Box Office. Supporters can get tickets on the day at the Goodison Park Box Office.
The Fan Zone will be in operation on the evening, while bucket collectors will be helping to raise funds for the Under-23s’ Home Is Where The Heart Is campaign.
A live stream of the game will also be broadcast via evertonfc.com, with proceeds going towards the initiative, which is aiming to raise £230,000 to fund and develop a supported living initiative for young people in Liverpool, delivered by Everton in the Community. Learn more or purchase the match here.