Jordan Pickford discusses how various loan spells helped fast-track him to the Premier League in Saturday’s official matchday programme for the visit of Bournemouth.
In a wide-ranging interview, the 23-year-old said: “Having all those games out on loan was great. I always go back to it when people ask me about my career because they were the times when I learned the most.
“I think it’s the perfect way to do it, as well, especially as a keeper, because you’re playing against men when you’re young, and it’s ideal getting battered week in, week out, getting crosses in and coming for them. As a goalkeeper you’ve got to be brave.
“Another thing is the upbringing - growing up when you’re going on loans. I wasn’t staying at my mam and dad’s house, I was having to stay away from home at times and that’s obviously helped me with where I am today.”
Pickford, who is the cover star for the programme, also talks about the sacrifices his parents made to allow him the opportunity of getting to the top, as well as his hopes of making the England squad for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Joining Pickford in the issue is forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who will be going in looking to open his Premier League account for the season against the Cherries after netting twice in the 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Sunderland on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old striker reflects on his rapid rise over the past 12 months and says Goodison Park must once again become “a fortress” for the Blues, while manager Ronald Koeman and captain Phil Jagielka also give their thoughts from the dugout and the dressing room respectively.
Mason Holgate is the subject of our ‘If I…’ feature, with the young defender revealing what other sportsman he’d like to be for a day, what one superpower he’d like, what one day he’d live again and his most embarrassing moment, amongst other things.
We celebrate the Club naming at least one Academy graduate in matchday squads for each of the past 1,000 competitive games with a special picture quiz, lifelong Evertonian and former Bournemouth defender John Williams, who now works for BBC Radio Solent as a commentator and summariser, provides the lowdown on Eddie Howe’s men and there is reaction from the latest Under-23s and Under-18s victories!
The matchday programme is priced at £3.50 and is available around the ground or in the Club stores before the game. Alternatively, you can purchase a digital version or a subscription here.