Morgan Feeney is using last season’s title glory for Everton Under-23s as fuel to do it all over again in the 2017/18 campaign.
The 18-year-old defender has recently returned from a week-long training camp in La Manga, Spain with the rest of the Under-23s as they prepare to defend their Premier League 2 title.
Having surprised himself with the amount of minutes he managed to play in that successful season, Feeney is working hard to keep his place in David Unsworth’s side.
“I didn’t expect to play so much last season,” he explains. “I was really young and my aim was just to play as much as I could for the Under-23s. The first half of last season, I was in with the Under-18s but in the second I moved up and I was happy with that. To be involved so much in a title-winning season was amazing.
“This season I want to play as much as I can for the Under-23s. I am too old for the Under-18s now so I am looking to start for the '23s as often as I can. Hopefully we can go on and win the title again.
“Unsy has challenged us to go and win it again and then add more trophies if we can. That’s what we will try to do – we want as much silverware as we can get our hands on.
“We are all confident we can have a successful season. Unsy has raised the standards but we know we can meet them and do well again.”
The Under-23s will be fighting on a number of fronts next season, with the news that they will once again be competing in the Checkatrade Trophy. A busy schedule is rounded out with both the Premier League Cup and Premier League International Cup, with the latter an opportunity to face teams from the continent.
But Feeney believes the variety of competitions and opponents is another way to accrue the experience needed to develop as footballers ready to step up to the senior squad.
“The different cup competitions at our level are all really good experiences and they help get you ready for the first team,” he added. “When you play in the Checkatrade Trophy you are playing against senior sides and it gives you an insight into the men’s game.
“On the other hand, the league and the cup competitions like the Premier League Cup are all your age. So the blend helps you learn how to deal with different opponents.
“Hopefully we can win as many games as we can, and pick up as many trophies as possible.”