Everton Under-18s winger Joel Catesby has praised the recent performances of teammate George Pickford, labelling the goalkeeper as the standout player for the young Blues so far this season.
Catesby himself has enjoyed a bright start to the campaign, netting in October against both Derby County and West Bromwich Albion.
The sharp showings follow a difficult start to life as a first-year scholar, as the Wirral-born winger spent the beginning of the season recovering from a long-term setback.
“It was tough because I tore my meniscus at the end of last season around April,” said Catesby, speaking to evertonfc.com. “The recovery took about four months so it’s been good to get back into it this season.
“It was difficult doing rehab at the start of my time as a scholar, but good to be back involved now. It was one of them where you’re watching all your mates on the pitch, and it was just horrible to not be involved.”
Nevertheless, Catesby, who joined Everton aged four, has quickly become an important player for Leighton Baines’ Under-18s.
He discussed the season so far and why goalkeeper Pickford has been a key performer for the young Toffees, explaining: “I think George (Pickford) has been the standout for us. I feel like he’s kept us in games and made some great saves.
“He’s improved so much as a player, and you can tell how much he’s come on and is developing a lot.
“As a team, I think we’re getting better. Personally, I’m still getting into it but I’m playing more now and starting to score so I’m pleased with that.”
Still developing his fledgling career, Catesby has aims of eventually lining up for Everton’s Senior Team.
“My career goal is to be playing regularly for Everton,” he said, describing his long-term targets. “It’s my dream, being a boyhood Blue, just to be playing for Everton every week, but I know it’s not always guaranteed, so I just want a career in football, to be honest.”