Simms Plots Next Steps After Maiden Goal

Ellis Simms says his maiden Everton goal has left him hungry for more with the Club he “loves”, insisting he will do everything in his power to keep improving in order to earn more opportunities in the Blues' senior team.

Simms, who scored an 89th-minute equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Saturday, joined Everton's Academy aged 16 and penned his first professional deal in summer 2019 following a staggering personal campaign for Everton Under-18s.

The Oldham-born player struck an incredible 32 goals in 21 league matches and was on target 46 times in all competitions in 2018/19. 

He top scored for Everton Under-23s in the first half of 2020/21 – netting eight goals in 12 games – before a successful loan with Blackpool for the second half of the campaign saw a return of 10 goals from 19 starts.

Equally as productive loan spells followed with Hearts in Scotland and Championship outfit Sunderland before being recalled by Everton this January.

His outing at Stamford Bridge was his sixth, with five of those coming from the bench, under manager Sean Dyche.

"Honestly, I can't put it into words," Simms, who turned 22 at the turn of the year, told evertontv. "I've been working hard for this moment, training hard and it's a dream come true. 

"I've always wanted to score my first Premier League goal and it happened. Then, even better it was to get a point for the team. We dug in and it's massive for us.

"I definitely reflect on the journey I've had so far after a moment like this. I've been on a few loans and I've done well. 

“The main purposes of those loans is to come back and use it to try to get into this team. 

"I've worked hard and I've been patient, waiting for the moment. When I do get on the pitch, I know I need to grab it with both hands and take it."

Coincidentally, Simms senior debut for Everton also came at Chelsea, with the striker chosen to lead the line for the Toffees at Stamford Bridge in December 2021.

"Whenever we play here we know it's going to be a tough game because they have top-quality players," he said. "But we know on our day that we can compete with anyone, like we did here. We did that - we dug in and we got the point. 

"We're pleased with it and we just need to kick on from here now after the international break."

Now working under Dyche, Assistant Manager Ian Woan and First-Team Coach Steve Stone, Simms says he is learning every day back at Finch Farm.

“Just to run in behind, work hard and just play my normal game, really,” revealed the towering striker, when asked about his instructions ahead of being introduced as a 79th-minute substitute against Chelsea. “Obviously, whenever I come on I want to help the team the best way I can and I feel as though I did that by getting the goal.

“As a collective, we ran our socks off as a team and worked really hard.”

Reflecting on his return to the Toffees, he continued: “It's been great. The lads have been really welcoming. They're a great bunch of lads and the staff are always helping me, giving me tips, giving me things to work on and I’m really enjoying it. 

“Obviously, I love the Club and to get my first goal, I'm delighted.”

Dyche himself revealed he had held talks with Simms prior to the trip to west London, with the youngster keen for confirmation on areas of his game he needs to develop in order to become a consistent threat in the top flight.

“There’s no lack of belief from me, because I played him at Anfield… I believe in him,” Dyche told evertontv. “He’s got to learn the hard yards of the Premier League. You see he hasn’t quite got the fully feel of the Premier League and the physicality — and that is going to be a big part of his progress. 

“He came in and asked me what he needs to do last week and I said, ‘What do you think?’… he gave me four things and I said, ‘You’re right’. It’s an amazing thing about football. He knows what he’s got to do, so I’m saying, ‘Right, well take action’, and tonight he has. He has taken action. 

“He didn’t just finish, he fights, he runs hard to get his chance and then finishes calmly. 

“That’s him taking action — not me. He’s told me the answers... Well, go and do it!”

Looking ahead, Everton face an extended wait for their next game with international action set to commence this week before the Blues host Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison on Monday 3 April.

In the meantime, Simms’ next steps — and intentions for the future — are clear.

“[Scoring my first goal] is a huge confidence boost,” he added. “I’m a striker — I love scoring goals. When the ball hits the back of the net it's the best feeling. 

“Hopefully now I can just kick on, I will keep working hard in training and see where that gets me, because I want to score more.”