Coleman, Stones want to build future at Goodison

From left: Everton players Steven Naismith, John Stones, Phil Jagielka, Gerard Deulofeu and Seamus Coleman at the Chang event for a fans' meet-and-greet session.
From left: Everton players Steven Naismith, John Stones, Phil Jagielka, Gerard Deulofeu and Seamus Coleman at the Chang event for a fans' meet-and-greet session.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

They are two of the most promising defenders in the English Premier League (EPL) and, despite reported interest from top clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea, Seamus Coleman and John Stones do not see their futures away from Goodison Park.

The Toffees endured a tough campaign last season when they finished 11th in the EPL and out of European qualification but that did not deter the defenders from signing new contracts with the club.

The pair inked five-year deals with Roberto Martinez's side last year, motivated in large part by the higher chance of first-team action.

Speaking exclusively to The Straits Times at a Chang Beer fan meet held at the InterContinental Singapore Hotel, Stones revealed: "I am very happy to be at Everton for the future.

"My aim right now is to try and nail down a regular spot in this Everton team and, hopefully, that will take care of playing for England.

"I have to keep learning from the likes of Phil Jagielka and keep progressing at this club."

Last year was a memorable one for the 21-year-old as he earned his first England cap in a 2-0 Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland.

Stones chalked off another milestone when he scored his first-ever career goal for Everton in April this year. He headed in his side's second goal of the game in their 3-0 victory over the Red Devils.

Coleman, who won the Everton's Players' Player of the Year and Supporters' Player of the Year awards last year, added: "This is a special club, a family-oriented club where it is a great place to go into for work everyday.

"Now, we need to work hard for the coming season and, hopefully, we can win some silverware, be it the League Cup or the FA Cup."

Everton boss Martinez has so far added the likes of Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu to the ranks.

According to captain Jagielka, there is a buzz about the squad going into the upcoming season where they will start with a home fixture against Watford on Aug 8.

"I am massively excited (for Everton) to have a lot of young talents at this club.

"The best thing about the squad is that there is plenty of experience and young talented players as well and we all get along very well.

"The young lads have exceptional abilities.... with the more experienced players, we've a good blend and, hopefully, we can have a good campaign next season."

With Coleman and Stones staying loyal, life is sweet for the Toffees and, with the side beefed up, Martinez could well be leading his men towards the upper reaches of the table and qualification for European football next season.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2015, with the headline 'Coleman, Stones want to build future at Goodison'. Print Edition | Subscribe