Everton Under-23s centre-back Matty Foulds says he is at the ideal club to keep developing as a player after signing a new one-year contract.
The 20-year-old, who joined the Toffees from Bury in January 2016, believes Everton offers the perfect environment for him to hone his game as he praised “inspirational” Under-23s boss David Unsworth.
And despite a 2017/18 season hampered by injury, Foulds declared his eagerness to hit the ground running in the new campaign and repay the faith the Club has shown in him.
“It means the world to me [to sign the deal],” he told evertonfc.com. “I don’t want to go anywhere else, I want to stay where I am and develop here.
“Everton is a great club for any young player to be at. The Club has a reputation for playing young lads and giving them opportunities. And the people here, too - the staff, the players - they’re all so welcoming.
“The fact that they’ve offered me a contract even though I’ve been injured, I have to take as a real positive and try to do as well as I can next season.”
The centre-back was keen to praise the influence of Under-23s manager Unsworth in aiding his progress.
Foulds credits Unsworth – who made 350 appearances for the Toffees – for passing on his vast experience as a top-flight defender and says the boss is a constant source of encouragement on the training pitch.
“He is very inspirational,” Foulds explained. “If I do something wrong, he’s there to help me put things right.
“He is very experienced in my position so in training he gives me lots of great advice.
“He helped me a lot throughout last season. When I was injured, he was always checking in with me and asking me how I was. He is just great to be around, along with all the players and coaches. I learn every day.”
Injury restricted Foulds to just 15 Premier League 2 appearances for Everton’s Under-23s in 2017/18.
He returned to full fitness for the final month of the season, however, impressing as he completed the full 90 minutes in each of the young Blues’ last four matches.
Foulds even got on the scoresheet as the Under-23s brought the curtain down on their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
“It was a frustrating season for me in many ways but at the end I got a few games under my belt,” he said.
“I did better than I thought I would - playing 90 minutes of games straight after one another. I felt fit enough to play the full matches which is another positive to take out of it.
“Scoring at Old Trafford is something I’ll remember for a long time. I was made up, especially as a lot of my family support Man United!
“I feel ready to go for the new season coming on, now. I just want to keep improving all round.”