Sunday 24 March 2019

Life so sweet at the 'Toffees' for Seamus

Seamus Coleman talks exclusively to THE SLIGO CHAMPION

Seamus Coleman - enjoying life at Everton
Seamus Coleman - enjoying life at Everton

It was a typically frantic week of transfer activity as the January window slammed shut. Robbie Keane's exit from Liverpool and the deal which took Brazilian striker, Jo, to Everton dominated the headlines in the Liverpool media. Under the radar, Seamus Coleman slipped quietly into Goodison Park but it will not surprise those who have monitored the young Donegalman's progress at Sligo Showgrounds over the past couple of years if the transfer ultimately proves to be the best bit of business of all.

Shy and unassuming off the pitch, the twenty years old full-back is a dynamic force on it, capable of vigilant defending and incisive attacking play in equal measure

Sean Connor, the man who plucked Coleman from the obscurity of junior football in Killybegs and gave him his chance in the League of Ireland; Paul Cook, his last manager, and Don Givens, the boss of the Irish under 21 team, all speak highly of Coleman's qualities, not just in terms of his ability but also in the way he applies himself to his profession.

All are convinced the youngster has what it takes to go all the way and Everton were so impressed by what they saw of Coleman that they were determined to win a bidding war which engaged some other heavyweights such as Celtic, West Ham, Birmingham City and Ipswich Town.

And the Merseysiders regard for their new recruit is further illustrated by the fact that Reserve team managers Andy Holden and Alan Stubbs elevated Coleman to their starting team during his first week at the club.

The former Rovers star made his debut for the Reserves against Middlesbrough last week and was in the squad again for last night's high profile clash with Liverpool.

It's all happened at a whirlwind pace for Coleman but the accomplished defender is taking it all in his stride.

"It's just great to be at a club like Everton. There's a great buzz around the club at the moment and to come into that sort of positive atmosphere has been been a terrific experience,"Coleman told THE SLIGO CHAMPION.

He got a taste of the big time atmosphere when he attended Everton's recent FA Cup clash with Liverpool at Goodison Park and within days he was making his Reserve team debut. Although Middlesbrough snatched an improbable victory with a 90th minute winner, Coleman was pleased with his first outing in an Everton jersey.

"I played the full ninety minutes and felt I did well," he said. "Training is brilliant but it was nice to get the first game under my belt"

Coleman has been based at a Liverpool hotel since his move but hopes to move into an apartment this week.

"I've settled in very quickly." he pointed out. "Everybody has made me feel very welcome and they've gone out of their way to help me. Obviously, it's difficult being away from home but I've always dreamed of playing at this level so I'm delighted to get the opportunity"

Everton have a reputation for giving their young players a chance in the first team so it is reasonable to expect that Coleman will get an opportunity soon. But the Donegalman isn't setting himself any targets.

"I'm not setting unrealistic goals", he stressed. "All I am focussed on at the moment is working as hard as I can. I'll just keep my head down and keep trying to improve my game and, hopefully, that will stand to me in the future"

A highly popular player at the Showgrounds, Coleman will always be grateful to Rovers and the club's fans for their support during his time with the club.

"I loved playing for Rovers.", he said. "I was very happy there and if the move to Everton hadn't worked out I would have been quite content to stay at the Showgrounds because they have a very exciting season ahead of them. Paul Cook, Gerry Carr and everybody at Sligo were very instrumental in progressing my career and I will always have special memories of my time at the club. Hopefully, I will get an opportunity to attend some games at the Showgrounds during the Summer"