Joe Hilton insists he will “do everything to become the best goalkeeper I can be” after signing a new one-year-deal with Everton.
The 18-year-old stopper added that the coaching expertise he has received in his two years at the Club has helped him take significant strides in his development, while he revealed training with Blues and England keeper Jordan Pickford has been “inspiring”.
Hilton joined the Toffees from Manchester City in 2016 and has featured for both the Blues’ Under-18 and Under-23 sides. The teenager was also part of the first team's pre-season training camp in Austria last week alongside Maarten Stekelenburg and Mateuz Hewelt.
Hilton says he is now eager to get more matches under his belt and believes Everton provides an ideal platform for him to realise his potential.
“Signing this new deal means a lot,” he told evertonfc.com. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work and I think this shows it has paid off. Hopefully it’s the start of a good career.
“I’ve really settled in here. It’s definitely a family club. Everyone knows each other, so you go from one side of Finch Farm to the other and you know each person there.
“The coaches here are brilliant. [Under-18s goalkeeper coach] Kev O’Brien helped me a lot when I first came and [Under-23s goalkeeper coach] Alan Kelly has done a lot for me since he came to the Club. They’ve all helped me in different ways.
“Next season I just want to play as much as I can, work hard and do everything to be the best goalkeeper I can be.”
As well as the Club’s talented coaching staff, Hilton revealed Everton number one Pickford has also been an important influence over the past season.
Having witnessed the England stopper in action at close quarters, Hilton is not surprised to see him play a starring role for the Three Lions at the World Cup.
The 18-year-old says training with a goalkeeper of his quality has provided a valuable learning experience.
“I always knew from training with him how good he was,” he explained. “He’s one of the best in the league and he’s definitely shown his worth in the World Cup.
“You can learn so much from working with him. It’s inspiring. He’s got a lot of different techniques and great attributes that I can take on board and try to improve.
“He’s a very positive person in the dressing room. I think his confidence and stature help him as a ‘keeper, as that is something I can learn from, too. “