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Coleman eyes Everton starting spot

IRELAND U21 star Seamus Coleman is keen to stay in the Everton side after making an early impression on their pre-season tour of Australia, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

The Donegal lad played a key role in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart, claiming an assist for one goal and winning a penalty for the second, and he hopes for another run out in a second friendly tomorrow.

"It was great to be involved in the first goal. I like to get forward and to have an assist is a bonus to me. I won the penalty early on as well and I'll look to keep getting forward in future games," said Coleman, who signed a new contract with Everton earlier this summer.

"It's two wins out of two and you can't do better than that. Hopefully we can get another one on Saturday. Obviously I want to play but it is up to the manager if I play or not."

Toffees boss David Moyes is already impressed with the former Sligo Rovers man.

"I watched him a lot on loan for Blackpool and he did really well against Melbourne. He won the penalty kick in the first minute, was forward again to make the goal and had a big impact on the game," Moyes said.

"He has not been full-time very long and had a really nasty injury in pre-season last year so he'll benefit from pre-season this time."

Meanwhile, Brian Murphy has challenged his Ipswich Town team-mates to win their place in Roy Keane's team by showing their hunger. "It'll be a tough decision for the manager to pick his starting X1 when the competitive stuff starts at the Riverside," said Murphy.

"And pre-season will show who's hungry for it. The way the season went last year was disappointing to everyone, and we have a point to prove next year.

"After a couple of weeks off in the summer, I was looking forward to getting back on the training field.

"It's been a while since I had a pre-season in the warm weather and I'm enjoying it. I enjoy training anyway."