Everton Under-21s midfielder Mackenzie Hunt has signed a new one-year contract until the end of June 2023.
And the versatile 20-year-old, who first joined Everton Academy aged six, is leaving nothing to chance in his bid for regular football this season.
An ankle problem limited Hunt’s involvement in the campaign directly after he agreed three-year professional terms in summer 2019.
Hunt has fought to combat subsequent issues and “shown glimpses of my talent” over the past two campaigns, earning the Goodison Park extension.
He spent one week in Majorca with fitness trainers and physiotherapists off his own back immediately prior to confirming his renewed Everton deal.
“As long as I am on the pitch, I am confident good things will follow,” Hunt told evertonfc.com.
“This is a big season for me, I need to keep my body in good shape, work hard and have a good start.
“I am not thinking about too much beyond the next six months. The past few seasons have been tough and I am excited to get back and stay fit and play.”
Hunt was a mainstay of the Everton team that reached an FA Youth Cup quarter-final and secured a top-three Premier League (North) finish in 2018/19.
That side was managed by newly-appointed Everton Under-21s Head Coach Paul Tait, one of the men Hunt cites as a major influence on his development. He also namechecks Head of Academy Coaching John Ebbrell for “keeping faith in me and helping me retain my confidence”.
“I was delighted when I heard the news and I am excited to get back to work with Paul Tait,” said Hunt.
“I really enjoyed playing under him, he gave me a lot of confidence and improved me as a player.
“I have filled out over the past few years, so the physical side of my game has improved.”
Everton Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, added: “We’re pleased for Mackenzie to continue his journey with Everton and look forward to supporting him for what we hope will be a successful season ahead.
“Mackenzie progressed under the guidance of Paul Tait during their time together with our Under-18s and we are confident he will benefit once again from the experience and knowledge of Paul and his Under-21s coaching staff.”