Talented young right-back Mathew Mallon has signed his first professional contract with Everton, penning a two-year deal with the Club until the end of June 2024.
Mallon, who has been at the Blues' Academy since the age of four, captained Everton Under-18s last season and has already made a handful of appearances for the Under-21s.
The West Derby-born defender is now relishing the opportunity to pursue his ultimate goal of First-Team football at the Club that "feels like home".
"It's a massive boost to get everything signed," 18-year-old Mallon told evertonfc.com. "It means so much for me and my family.
"To know it's done and that I'm secure for the next two years is a great feeling.
"During last season, it looked like I was going to leave but the Club wanted to keep me and it's every boy's dream to play for a club like Everton, so I'm pleased to get it sorted.
"Everton is like home to me. I've been here for such a long time. I enjoy being around the lads here, I enjoy the environment - to be able to be at a top club, like I am, and to be happy, like I am, is what you dream about."
Mallon will reunite with new Under-21s Head Coach Paul Tait in 2022/23, with a clear aim of cementing a starting berth in his mind.
He added: "When I heard Taity was becoming the Under-21s Head Coach it put a massive smile on my face, because I've been with him for the past two years and we have a very good relationship.
"Before working with him, I was very much in my shell but he's worked a lot with me and I feel far more confident as a player - and as a person - having worked with him.
"He's developed me so much as a player, too. He's spent lots of time with me on areas to improve and always gave me that confidence that I had the ability in me.
"I think he's a great coach and he's going to be really good for the role because all of the lads want to work hard for him and respect him.
"He's fair with how he treats everyone and he picks up on exactly what a group needs.”
Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, added: "We're delighted to have agreed Mathew's first professional contract with the Club.
"He has a strong mix of strengths that are needed in the modern-day full-back and we look forward to him continuing his progression on the next chapter of his journey."