BAZ'S BELLEFIELD FAREWELL
Everton's head physio on bidding farewell to his home from home.
Everton's Bellefield training ground has been a home from home for anybody associated with the Blues' senior squad over the years - but nobody more so than current Head Physio Mick Rathbone.
Mick, or Baz as he is known around Bellefield, has been with the Club for more than five years - making the switch to Everton from Preston North End following David Moyes' appointment as manager.
During that time Baz has been a virtual ever-present at Bellefield. And so to say goodbye to the old place proved emotional for him this week - as he reflected on evertonTV on Tuesday, October 9 following the final training sesson.
He told evertonTV: "This is the last day's training here. Five years I have been here, virtually everyday. I am going to do my last run around the place now and it will be emotional."
However, Rathbone is looking forward to the prospect of moving to a new multi-million pound development at Finch Farm in Halewood. Having paid regular visits to the new base, he believes it maintains the feel and spirit that has made Bellefield such a popular destination for players during Everton's rich history.
He added: "The facility at Finch Farm is second to none. There was a fear that the players would think it was a bit open and lacking the intimacy of Bellefield but that is not the case. We have deliberately designed it so the rooms are still quite intimate and small like Bellefield.
"We have been there three or four times now and the players and myself absolutely love it. It will be much better for Everton because having that sort of facility will help you attract the best players. With this facility we are up there with the best, there is no doubt about it.
"We have talked about it at length because there was that concern we would lose something - but I have been surprised by how much everybody adores the new place and they see it as a massive step forward. Everyone is buzzing, there is no doubt about it."
To see this interview in full visit evertonTV now.