Jagielka: Everton Stadium Is ‘Special’

Former Blues captain Phil Jagielka feels that Everton Stadium will be a 'special' venue for players and fans alike.

The recently-retired defender was this week shown the emerging home dressing room, which remains a work in progress at the Club’s new waterfront home.

And Jagielka, who made Goodison his home between 2007-2019, feels the upgrade in facilities will help take Everton to the next level.

He said: “It’s amazing. I’ve seen a lot of footage, but not been able to get here until now and it’s going to be something special. Totally different, but very special!

“The dressing room here looks a bit different than that one we’ve been used to at Goodison, so this is fantastic and what they are able to do here, with the facilities, brings Everton to the place it needs to be.

“Squads have got bigger now, not only on the pitch but also the coaching staff.

“Hopefully you choose a neighbour who is around for a while too, but when you have a really nice home dressing room and your own little space, there’s nothing nicer than coming in with your washbag and seeing your shirt hung up!”

The large, circular dressing room, in the heart of the west stand, has been designed to maximise team unity and inclusivity.

It features a large central island and includes a raft of technology to aid the management team and a significant increase in space for other functions, such as physios and the team doctor.

An accompanying hydrotherapy pool, to aid recovery, is another huge leap forwards from the cosy confines of the existing dressing room at Goodison.

And following a walk down the players’ tunnel - and after emerging into the bowl of Everton’s future home - the ex-England international, who made 385 appearances for the Toffees, declared that the 52,888-seater stadium has the wow factor.

He said: “I was excited to come here and couldn’t fathom how much it had evolved from nothing, but the size of it is breathtaking.

“We’ve all been itching to get here, as quickly as possible while, at the same extent, not really wanting to leave Goodison.

“But if everything is going to be as it looks, it’s going to be an amazing place to call home and, hopefully, somewhere we can build good memories.”