Eighteen-year-old Australian Con Ouzounidis has signed a one-year professional contract with Premier League club Everton.
The centre back, who has represented Australia at Under-23 level, has been rewarded with a professional deal after impressing in the Under-18s and Under-23s.
Ouzounidis first joined Everton in 2016 at the age of 16.
Delighted to have signed my first professional contract with such a great club💙 https://t.co/SfUkFeQnty— Con Ouzounidis (@ConOuzounidis) July 11, 2018
"For anyone who is aspiring to become a professional footballer, to sign your first professional contract is a dream come true,” he told the club website.
“I feel like I’ve came on a lot over the past year. I got injured, which was a blow, but I was in the gym a lot with the physio so that helped me develop physically. Coaches like [Under-18s boss] Paul Tait and Unsy in the Under-23s have helped me out a lot, too.
"Unsy [David Unsworth] used to be a centre-half and he’s been there and done it for the first team, so he knows what it takes to get there. I just have to take what he says on board and put it into my game.
"He always manages to get the best out of his players, he pushes you because he wants more and wants you to succeed. He wants to help me become the best defender I can be.
"The players are all pushing each other on to do well, too. We’re one big group. Everyone gets on well with everyone.
"It’s important that we all get on. It’s good for team spirit and, when we’re on the pitch, we’re all fighting for each other. Everyone wants the best for each other.”