Ryan Astley has set out his hunger to continue developing all aspects of his game under the tutelage of Everton’s expert coaches after signing a new two-year contract with the Club until the end of June 2023.
Defender Astley has been rewarded with a new deal following an impressive 2020/21 campaign, which saw him named Everton Under-23s’ Player of the Season.
Just 19 years old, Astley’s impressive progress was underlined with a maiden call-up for the Wales Under-21 squad last October.
The talented centre-back paid tribute to the support he has received throughout his time at Everton’s Academy – and explained why he believes he is at the perfect club to realise his considerable potential.
“I’m so happy the Club has put the trust in me to give me this new contract,” Astley told evertonfc.com.
“Hopefully I can keep showing my quality on the pitch.
“The people around the Club are great to listen to if you want to learn. All of them have got great experience.
“David Unsworth has been huge for me. He was a great defender and, as our Under-23s manager, he’s been an important influence.
“Also, Leighton Baines, since he has come in, has been a big positive. I take in as much from him as I can.
“You look at the career he had and the consistency he showed, anything you can take from him is a plus. He’s a very good coach.
“I just want to keep improving as much as I can, push on and see the levels I can reach.”
Astley made his Everton Under-23s debut as a 16-year-old back in March 2018.
He has since established himself as a key figure in Unsworth’s side and outlined how his communication skills and leadership qualities have progressed in recent years.
Astley also declared his ambition to step up to train regularly with the Everton First Team in 2021/22.
“Last season, I felt I was consistent in most games and I did the basics right,” he added.
“I was made up when Unsy gave me the Player of the Season award. Receiving that recognition meant a lot after all the hard work I’ve put in.
“I feel like I’ve done well over the past couple of years.
“I’ve grown up playing with people older than me – I’ve learned from them and it’s given me a lot of courage to be able to speak up among the lads.
“I feel like I’m one of the senior players now [in the Under-23s squad] and, if I can make a good impression on the younger players and help them, then I’d like to do that.
“Next season, I just want to play as many games as I can and hopefully get the chance to train with the First Team, as that will only help my game.”