Midfielder Hughes Claims Coveted Honour At Everton Academy Awards

Teenage midfielder Rhys Hughes crowned a fabulous individual campaign by claiming the illustrious Keith Tamlin Award at Everton’s annual Academy Awards evening.

The Blues' Academy had to forgo its traditional St George's Hall gathering but overcame issues presented by the coronavirus pandemic to host the ceremony remotely and honour a number of players from Everton’s productive youth programme.

Prolific striker Lewis Dobbin was named Under-18 Player of the Season after hitting 11 goals in 16 league matches and making his Everton Under-23 debut in 2019/20.

Goal of the Season was won by Under-18 player Bobby Carroll, who swept home to complete a dizzying 25-pass move against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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03:44

EVERTON ACADEMY GOAL OF THE SEASON

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Goalkeeper Harry Tyrer received the Tony Heslop Award, which recognises a player who “represents The People’s Club with distinction and passion”.

Welshman Hughes’s notable development was rewarded with a new contract in January when the 18-year-old penned a deal committing him to Goodison Park until at least June 2022.

Capped by his country at Under-17 and Under-19 levels, Hughes resolved to “keep improving and make the next step” with the “best club in England” after signing extended terms.

He has advanced to train with Everton’s Under-23 team on occasion and twice been named in manager David Unsworth’s matchday squads.

And Hughes marked his rapid progress by winning the Keith Tamlin Award, which is named after the Club’s Vice Life President and celebrates a player for their “excellence, attitude and application” during their time in the Academy – and which counts first-team players Tom Davies and Beni Baningime among its former recipients.

“It gives me a great feeling of pride and pleasure to present this award,” said Tamlin.

 

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02:12

WATCH: EVERY EVERTON GOODISON GOAL THIS SEASON

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“The winner represents all that is best in the Everton Youth Academy… and I congratulate Rhys on this award.

“I would like to congratulate and thank staff at the Academy headed by Joel [Waldron, Academy Director] and note the encouragement given to it [Academy] and them [staff] by [Everton CEO] Denise Barrett-Baxendale.”

In common with Hughes, 17-year-old Dobbin signed a contract at the start of this year to keep him at Everton until at least June 2022.

The versatile attacker was introduced to Under-18 football at the back end of 2018/19 and subsequently enjoyed a startling first full campaign with manager Paul Tait’s team.

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06:48

EVERTON LEGEND HARVEY REVEALS SECRETS TO COACHING SUCCESS

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Dobbin’s 11 league goals included a hat-trick in a 7-2 win at Sunderland in the penultimate match before the season was prematurely concluded and he twice appeared off the bench for Unsworth’s Under-23 side.

Tyrer joined Everton aged seven and after establishing himself as first choice for the Club’s Under-18s in 2018/19 made further strides last season.

The 18-year-old played 15 times for Everton Under-23s, including four appearances against Football League opposition in the EFL Trophy.

Tyrer received most votes from coaches and staff for the Tony Heslop Award.

Head of Academy Coaching Sean Lundon said: “People forget Harry is still only a scholar but he’s been around the Under-23s a while and had some game time and progressed well.

“He’s matured on and off the pitch.”

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WATCH VIDEO 01:55 Fri 24 Jun 2022

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Director of Football Marcel Brands had the unenviable duty of picking the Academy’s Goal of the Season.

Brands revealed he showed the contenders to a “very impressed” Carlo Ancelotti before boiling down a high-calibre shortlist to three efforts.

The Dutchman made his final selection from an “incredible” rising strike in an Everton Under-11 game at Leeds United, an audacious backheeled volley in a home Under-13 clash with Manchester United and the Under-18s' precise carving open of Wolves, which concluded with Carroll’s cool finish.

Explaining his decision to ultimately plump for Carroll's goal, Brands said: “It was 25 passes without any contact from the opponent, they [Wolves] were defending with 11 players behind the ball and still the Under 18s were able to score this fantastic goal.

“It was such a special goal because all the players were involved.”

Waldron, appointed Academy Director when Everton introduced its Executive Leadership Team in summer 2018, added: "Well done to all our award winners, each of them richly deserved.

"And I am sure they will be the first to recognise the support they have received from their teammates and families and the [Academy] staff.

"There has been great progress made by the boys in the Academy on and off the pitch during the season and this has continued as much as possible in recent months despite the lockdown.

"The boys have adapted well and should be proud of their efforts during this period and right across the season.

"We hope they are all looking forward to returning next season with renewed vigour, just as we are as Academy staff."