Goalkeeper Pens First Pro Deal

Everton Under-18s goalkeeper Dylan Graham has signed his first professional contract, agreeing a one-year deal until the end of June 2023.

Born in Belfast, Graham made the move to Merseyside last summer, aged 16, having previously played for Irish League side Ballymena United.

After putting pen to paper on his pro contract, he is now targeting regular football with the Under-18s, as well as league and FA Youth Cup success in 2022/23.

“It's been a big goal for me since I was very young - to play professional football,” Graham told “It's a big moment for me and my family.

“Obviously, leaving home at 16, coming to a different country throws up challenges, but I was coming to do something that I love and everyone at the Club made it very easy for me.

“The boys and the coaches were super friendly and welcoming - and that helped me settled here quickly.

“It’s always going to take a little bit of time to get used to things but from the minute I walked through the door, I have loved everything about Everton.

“It was a very easy decision to sign the contract. To continue here at such a big club, it makes me - and my family - extremely proud.

“I just want to get my head down and keep working hard now. I want to help the Under-18s go far in the FA Youth Cup and the league.”

On the prospect of working under new Under-18s Head Coach Leighton Baines, Graham added: “I'm really looking forward to it. He was assistant [under new Under-21s coach Paul Tait] last season and I thought he was brilliant.

“Of course, he knows the game inside out and has so much experience.

“The lads really look up to him and it’s a big motivation for us all to be working with such a massive Everton figure.

“I think he's going to be a great help for all of us.”