Under-23s striker Shayne Lavery says Everton is the perfect place for him to “keep improving his all-round game” after signing a new one-year deal with the Club.
The 19-year-old Northern Ireland international hailed the influence of the Toffees coaching staff in his development, having joined from Irish Premiership side Glenavon in July 2015.
Lavery believes the challenging and encouraging environment at Everton can further improve his game going into the 2018/19 campaign with David Unsworth’s young Blues.
“I’m so happy to have signed a new deal,” he told evertonfc.com
. “It’s great being at Everton, it’s a massive club.
“I came over here when I was 16 and improved my all-round game. There’s a lot I can still do to get better, though, and I want to keep developing.
“The training under Unsy is intense but enjoyable, too. It gets you fit and he is a very good coach.
“And training every day with someone like [Under-23s coach] Franny [Jeffers], who was such a good striker himself, helps a lot. He can help you with your movement, running in behind and your finishing – it’s great. All the coaches here have been excellent with me.”
The teenager’s impressive progression was underlined as he made his full international debut in Northern Ireland’s 0-0 draw against Panama in May.
The skilful striker came on as a second-half substitute in Panama City and recalled the experience.
“It was amazing, I’ll never forget it,” said Lavery. “Even just being away with the lads in Panama and Costa Rica was amazing and I didn’t really think I’d play but to get on the pitch was just great.
“I got a lot of messages from back home and from the lads at Everton, so that was really nice.
“The boss [Michael O’Neill] was really good with me, too. He’d take me to one side and ask how things were going at Everton.
“The coaches and the lads were very welcoming, just like they are here at Everton.”
For Lavery, the supportive and welcoming atmosphere at USM Finch Farm was evident as soon as he joined the Club as a 16-year-old.
“I settled in very quickly,” he explains. “When I came here, I didn’t really know anyone at all but I felt welcome straight away. As soon as you come to the training ground, you see everyone talking to each other which helps a lot.
“Everton were great in helping me feel at home. I’ve been living in digs since I came here – although I’m going to get my own place soon – and the host family the Club set me up with have been amazing.
“It’s just a great Club to be at. Now I just want to keep progressing, get as fit as I can this pre-season, then score more goals and help the team be successful."