New Opportunity Excites Dewsnip
But outgoing Academy head coach sad to be leaving Everton.
Outgoing Everton Academy head coach Neil Dewsnip says the opportunity to work for his country was one he simply could not turn down.
It was announced last week that Dewsnip - one of the longest serving members of staff at the football club - is to take up a new position with the Football Association.
Dewsnip has been appointed as technical lead for the England 17-21 age group and will be based at the new national training centre at St George's Park in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.
Speaking about his decision to leave Finch Farm, Dewsnip told evertontv: “It was massively difficult. This is my 17th year at the Club and you become so attached in many ways.
“Somebody said that you must have got stale – but absolutely not. Every year is a different challenge and I’m as enthusiastic and as passionate as I ever was.
“If I don’t take this opportunity I’m not so sure that it will come around again and whilst I was incredibly honoured to be asked to work for Everton all those years ago, I think most people will agree that when your country comes calling it’s difficult to say no.”
A host of players have passed through the Everton youth system during Dewsnip’s 17 years with the Blues.
Many have enjoyed first-team opportunities at Goodison Park, while others have realised their professional ambitions at other football clubs.
“There have been incredible highlights,” he explained. “Seeing Wayne Rooney develop would be the obvious one to say. I think he was 10 when I joined so I have seen his journey from the start and I’m sure he is going to go on for a little while longer. Seeing him score that goal at Goodison against Arsenal, I was jumping up and down like everybody else.
“More recently, I would probably say the Under-18s team winning the national title at Fulham [in 2010/11] was a highlight.
"But every time one of our young players made his debut it was an incredibly emotional moment. There were a couple of tears and it was a really nice feeling.”
Moving forward Dewsnip has no doubts that the Everton Academy he is leaving behind will continue to flourish and added: “Seventeen years ago there was Ray Hall, Joan his secretary, myself and Colin Harvey. So thinking back to Bellefield and how it was then to what it is now is just incredibly different.
“There is now in excess of 27 or 28 staff and we are working on a £16million facility. It’s just an unbelievable difference.”