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Saturday 26 April K.O. 12:45

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Two-Tiered Target For Kennedy

Young Scot focused on first-team debut and Youth Cup glory.

Two-Tiered Target For Kennedy
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Matthew Kennedy has set his sights on FA Youth Cup glory and a first-team debut to mark a memorable first season at Goodison Park.

The young winger has been involved across three Blues squads, playing regularly for the Under-18s and Under-21s, as well as featuring on the bench for the first-team on two occasions.

And after a whirlwind seven months since his switch from SPL side Kilmarnock, the 18-year-old has revealed the two targets assistant manager Steve Round has challenged him to tick off by May.

He said: “Steve wants me to achieve two things this season - win the FA Youth Cup and make my debut for the Everton first-team.

“They are two massive goals but I definitely think they are achievable.”

The tricky wideman returns to his hometown this week as Scotland Under-19s welcome Sweden to Somerset Park.

And the prospect of pulling on the dark blue jersey is one that's thrilling him even more than usual this time around.

"I’m excited to be back because hardly any of my friends and family have been able to watch me play at Everton," he said.

“So, personally, it’s great the match is at Somerset Park.

“Everyone has been phoning and texting about it so hopefully a few of them will come along.

“Sweden have a good squad and this will be a good test for us. But we have a talented squad of players too and everyone gets on really well."

Scotland and Sweden have both already booked their place in the Elite Round of the UEFA European Under-19 Championships - effectively the final qualifying phase - where a trio of tough opponents block the way to this summer's main event.

Kennedy said: “It won’t be easy to qualify for the finals because Belgium, England and Georgia are all good sides. But we believe we can do it.

“I know a few of the boys involved in the England squad from Everton and they have already commented on the quality of our squad.

“It’s great to be part of the group and I hope I can be part of the squad that goes to Belgium for the Elite Round. But whoever Ricky [Sbragia] picks, the rest of the boys will be right behind the team and ready to step in if there are any injuries.”

Kennedy and Everton Under-18s will be looking to continue their quest for FA Youth Cup glory when they tackle Norwich City in the quarter-finals on Friday 5 April.

The game at Goodison Park kicks off at 7pm. Look out for ticket information in the coming days.

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