Kirby On Academy Influence And Everton Idols

Faye Kirby is one of a number of promising youngsters in Everton’s Academy.

The goalkeeper joined the Blues at the age of seven and is now enjoying her 10th season with the Club.

A lifelong Evertonian, Kirby has risen through the ranks and become a stand-out performer for Academy Manager Tommy Walsh’s side.

She has already rubbed shoulders with senior members of the current squad - and reveals she has a number of idols both past and present.

“Goalkeepers like Sandy MacIver and Courtney Brosnan have been great with me,” she told evertonfc.com “I’ve learnt a lot from them previously and can still learn a lot more from them.

“When you see a player like Sandy progress from the academy, it just gives you more motivation because you know others have done it, why can’t I do it?

“My all-time inspiration though is Rachel Brown; she is one of the reasons why I wanted to become a goalkeeper.

“When I started to play football, she was Everton and England’s number one goalkeeper.

“She was very commanding; she was the best.

“It doesn’t matter if it was stopping a shot, claiming a cross, she just seemed to have it all.”

The connection with Brown doesn’t end there.

“I remember when I was around seven or eight, she used to train the goalkeepers at the academy,” Kirby reveals.

“The fact she trained me, made her my idol even more.

“It’s something that I’ll never forget.”

Defender Kenzie Weir is the Academy latest graduate to make the rise from the Everton Academy and into the senior squad.

Kirby says her friend's journey fills her with pride - and increases her hunger to tread the same route.

“When you see someone like Kenzie make the jump up this season, it makes you realise that it’s closer than you think,” she says.

“It makes you think ‘I could be next’.

“Every day in training I’m giving it my all to give myself the best opportunity to be next to make that jump up.

Kirby gained her first experience of First-Team football when she played against Rangers in the opening game of the 2021/22 pre-season schedule.

“It was always a good opportunity to be able to do that because you can see the work you’ve done and compare yourself to where you want to be,” the 18-year-old says.

“That was an opportunity where I learnt the standard I’ve got to reach to become a pro so it’s benefited by progress massively.

“My long-term goal is to become a professional in the women’s game and I hope I can do that with Everton.

“There’s no better feeling when you put that Everton jersey on. Once it’s on, you never want to take it off.

“It would be a dream come true to play in the first team competitively.”