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Stubbs' New Venue Delight

U21s boss pleased to have stadium confirmed for home fixtures.

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Alan Stubbs believes his Under-21 side will benefit from playing home fixtures at the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport.

Having previously hosted games at the Club's training ground Finch Farm, the young Blues had their new venue confirmed earlier this week ahead of the start of the second half of the season.

And while Stubbs' team travel to Blackburn for their opening match on Monday, he admits he is looking forward to the players experiencing the ground for the first time the following week.

He told evertontv: “It is something that we have tried to push for. We were let down by one stadium before the season started and we have looked to pursue a different venue ever since.

"We have now sorted out an arrangement with Southport which is great.

“The manager and I didn’t like the thought of the games being held at the training ground because it didn’t give that feel of a matchday to the players

“We would play friendly games there and everyone was very familiar with the surroundings. It didn’t give it that intensity of what it’s like on a matchday and the preparation involved.”

And with fans now able to come and watch the Under-21s in action, there is the added prospect of playing in front of a crowd - something Stubbs believes is a major positive experienced by members of his squad that have gone out on loan to Football League clubs.

As part of the agreement with Southport, Everton Season Ticket holders and FOREVERTON members will be able to attend Under-21s home games for free, with entry for all others priced at £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.

Stubbs added: “We were aware that it was always behind closed doors at the training ground and not in front of supporters. Now that we have moved it to the stadium, it’s a chance for the fans to come and watch some of the younger players and see what’s coming through.”

Everton Under-21s’ first home game at the Merseyrail Community Stadium, Southport is against Chelsea on Tuesday 22 January (7pm kick-off). Tickets can be purchased at the turnstiles on the night.

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