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Everton's commitment to bringing through young players was demonstrated once again last night, as defender John Stones started for England at Wembley against Norway. The 20-year-old made his full debut for the Three Lions in a 1-0 win, and the former Barnsley man opened up on his delight.
"It was very surreal, singing the national anthem out there with players who I have watched for years and years. To be out there was an absolute dream come true. There were a lot of young and exciting players with the likes of Wayne [Rooney] and the experienced players still in there to keep us grounded and knowing what we are doing on the pitch," said Stones.
"I think there was a great combination tonight of youth and experience. Jags is always talking to me before the game and all the defenders and keeper were giving me advice and wishing me good luck, which is always nice. Jags and Bainesy, my team-mates at Everton, are always helping me out and I thank them for that," he added.
Back at Goodison Park, fans and players alike continue to praise the impact of Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o. The 33-year-old signed a two year deal with Everton just over a week ago, and he marked his debut with a goal against former club Chelsea, leading to Leighton Baines lauding the former Barcelona man on Wednesday. Today, it's Kevin Mirallas who has been singing the praises of the experienced hitman.
"Samuel is a great player. He has been at Barcelona and Inter Milan, so he has quality. He played 20 minutes and scored a nice header [against Chelsea]. It's good for the players, especially Romelu [Lukaku] and myself, that he is with us now."
Elsewhere, midfielder Darron Gibson made his long awaited return from injury as he played 70 minutes for the Republic of Ireland against Oman. It was the first appearance for the former Manchester United man since a knee injury almost a year ago, and his return will be a big boost to manager Roberto Martinez.