Ipswich Town loanee Callum Connolly confident he can make it at his beloved Everton
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Everton teenager Callum Connolly is ready to show the ‘grit and fight’ required to make it as a Premier League player during his loan spell at Ipswich Town.
The 19-year-old versatile defender is one of eight young players the Toffees have sent out to Championship clubs to develop this season, with manager Ronald Koeman having embarked on a £200m spending spree over the summer.
And boyhood Evertonian Connolly, who joined the club at the age of nine and is a former Goodison Park ball boy, is determined to add to his one top-flight appearance so far.
“As academy lads nowadays you need that grit and fight to get into the first team,” he said, having been part of Everton’s Under-23 title-winning team last season and England’s Under-20 World Cup winning squad this summer.
“Most clubs are spending a lot of money on players, but at the end of the day we’re there to get into the first team not just make up the numbers.
“Hopefully I can go back to Everton next year as a more developed player and get a chance.
“Tom (Davies) is a good mate of mine. He got a bit of luck getting into the team and fair play to him he’s done very well. “There’s other young players getting a chance too.
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“If them lads are getting in then why can’t I? You need confidence and belief in your own ability and I’ve got that.
“Hopefully that pathway can be more clear for me at the end of this loan spell.”
A late deadline day signing, Connolly produced a wholehearted Town debut in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at QPR, grappling with the experienced Jamie Mackie for much of the game.
“There’s much more of that to come,” he laughed, speaking ahead of Saturday’S visit of newly-promoted Bolton, a side still winless after seven matches.
“I’ve been brought up to be tough-tackling and aggressive with your play and I’m looking to bring that here. I think the gaffer here likes a 50/50 more than a goal so working with him is a big plus.”
He added: “There had been a lot of interest in me, but I knew I had to pick the right club at this stage in my career. Luckily Ipswich came up late in the day.
“I don’t think mum was happy with me moving away from home for the first time. It’s a bit of a shock at the minute. I need to get cooking and doing some washing!”