Coleman Reveals Ancelotti's Non-Negotiable Training Demand

Seamus Coleman says manager Carlo Ancelotti is ensuring Everton’s players are under no illusions about the application and concentration demanded every day as the Italian prepares for his first full campaign in charge.

Everton’s pre-season is only six days old but will gather pace on Saturday with a friendly visit to Blackpool – the club where Coleman came of age during a mutually profitable loan spell a decade ago.

Coleman, readying himself for a second season as captain, insists he is “fresh and excited” about the beginning of Ancelotti’s reign in earnest, after initially struggling to shake the disappointment of Everton’s stuttering finish to last term.

Away from the pitch, the Irishman was a surprise guest when 11-year-old Lewis Docherty received his Everton Fan of the Year award on an emotional Zoom call last week.

Lewis’s unconcealed passion for Everton, admits Coleman, served as a salient reminder of the responsibility players have to supporters – and Ancelotti is leaving nothing to chance in his bid to reposition the Club at the elite end of English football.

“Training is very high intensity and that is what the manager is getting across, everything must be high intensity, working hard and staying with runners,” Coleman told


“I don’t know how his pre-season would be with six weeks. This pre-season is different from any other because of the shorter break and the lads came back in better shape than they would after six weeks off.

“It doesn’t need to be eyeballs out in training.

“But it is all very hard and maximum effort is demanded.

“You come away knowing you have had a tough session and need to recover for the next day.

“There is a lot of tactical work and small-sided games. Everything is with the ball.

“But it is as hard as anything you do without the ball.

“I am sure the manager is looking forward to a fresh start and full season.

“He has got to know the players and I am sure he will want to add his own.

“It is an exciting time and great to be back.”

Everton’s meeting with Blackpool on Saturday is followed nine days later by a trip to Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

A third fixture will be added to the schedule, as Ancelotti and his staff squeeze preparations into a four-week window which will be compromised by two rounds of international fixtures in the week prior to the Premier League kick off on 12 September.

Everton open their league campaign at Tottenham Hotspur and, if he features in north London, Coleman will make his 320th appearance for the Club.

He had played only seven games before a heady two-month stay with Blackpool after joining on a temporary arrangement in March 2010.

Coleman won nine and drew two of his 12 matches with the Seasiders and was in the Ian Holloway-led Blackpool side which defeated Cardiff City in the Championship play-off final.

Everton's clash with Blackpool will be streamed LIVE for Season Ticket, 2019/20 Season Hospitality and Official Members on*. Become an Official Member to access live streams of all the Blues' pre-season matches, as well as a wealth of other benefits, by clicking here.

“It will be great to go back,” said Coleman, who marked his first return to Blackpool in November 2010 by opening his Premier League goals account.

“I have great memories of Blackpool, we had a great manager and great group of lads.

“I went out and played and became a man.

“You realise the importance of every point and every game.

“I played 12 games and we had a good run and qualified for the play-offs on the last day of the season.

“The rest was history.

“It was a magical experience for Blackpool to be promoted to the Premier League and I am so proud I played a small part in that group.”

Everton completed last season on a low note, surrendering an 11-game unbeaten top-flight Goodison Park sequence on the final day, against Bournemouth.

Ancelotti’s side claimed 12 points from nine fixtures following the season’s resumption and that return didn’t sit well with Coleman, who spent his time off at home in Ireland.

He has, however, consigned that frustration to history and is trusting in the process being implemented by veteran Ancelotti, a title winner in four of Europe’s major leagues.

“Last season was difficult in terms of lockdown,” explained Coleman.

“We came back and initially did well [Everton won two and drew one of their three games immediately after the restart].

“But you take a lot of responsibility when you’ve been at the Club so long and the way we finished the season was disappointing.

“You find it tough to let it go.

“But after a couple of weeks you refresh yourself and are ready to go again.

“Tottenham is a tough game, then we’re at home [the following week] to a newly-promoted side in West Brom.

“But all games in the Premier League, whoever you play, you have to earn the right to win, home or away.

“It is about building that mentality on a daily basis and that is what we need to do.

“We’ve perhaps looked too far ahead at what we can and can’t achieve in the past, myself included.

“This season it is about us all coming in every day and making sure we work 100 per cent, the bigger picture will then take care of itself.

“We have to work as hard as we can every day and try to build something inside the Club.”

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Avid Evertonian Lewis received record number of nominations from fellow Blues.

Coleman’s initial fortnight at home was spent exclusively with family because of quarantine regulations.

He caught up with friends in his final week off, incorporating fitness work into his meetings with old Gaelic football and football colleagues, Coleman conscious that this year’s unusual pre-season didn’t come with an option to ease back in.

One of the highlights of the 31-year-old’s rest period, he insisted, was his call with Lewis.

The video of Coleman talking to Lewis and fellow fundraiser Mick 'Speedo Mick' Cullen, along with Fans’ Forum Co-Vice-Chairperson Lisa Vaughan, gained nationwide interest.

Lewis, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, was overcome with joy at being honoured as Everton’s Fan of the Year and similarly overwhelmed when Coleman appeared to offer his congratulations.

“All I did was pop on the phone for five minutes and it was great to see Lewis’s reaction,” said Coleman.


“Speedo Mick has been incredible with him and really taken him under his wing.

“I think Lewis loves having a crack with Speedo Mick.

“I was sitting in the kitchen for the call and came off the phone delighted to have played a part in some way.

“It was quite emotional when Lewis broke down and I saw him breaking down with Speedo when he announced the news [he had won fan of the Year] to him.

“He is a special little boy and massive Everton fan.

“It is important for us, as players, to realise what the Club means to the people and to its supporters.

“Lewis had a massive impact on me and I am delighted for him.

“He deserves the award.

“As he said, he has been trying to win it for three years, so it goes to show you have to keep going to get what you deserve.”

Everton's clash with Blackpool will be streamed LIVE for Season Ticket, 2019/20 Season Hospitality and Official Members on*. Become an Official Member to access live streams of all the Blues' pre-season matches, as well as a wealth of other benefits, by clicking here.

*Please note, live coverage of pre-season games will only be available to Adult and International Members.