Everton defender Seamus Coleman reveals right-back role model

Seamus Coleman for Republic of Ireland

Everton defender Seamus Coleman has not had to look far for his right-back role model, with Tony Hibbert the man he admires most.

Seamus Coleman was an 80s baby, so you would imagine that while growing up and trying to forge a career as a professional footballer he would be have put the cream of the Premier League crop from the 1990s on a pedestal.

Surely, as he showed promise as an attacking right-back, the likes of Manchester United legend Gary Neville or Arsenal stalwart Lee Dixon would be among the players he admired most as he sought to tread a similar path.

Or, as a man harbouring dreams of one day representing the Republic of Ireland at senior international level, maybe he considered fellow countryman and long-serving Leeds United defender Gary Kelly to be the perfect role model.

Coleman, though, says it is another one-club man who has had the greatest impact on his game and his rise to the top of his chosen profession.

Having arrived at Goodison Park back in 2009, the 26-year-old has spent his entire career in England working alongside Tony Hibbert.

“I can’t say enough about Tony to be honest,” Coleman told the Liverpool Echo.

“We’re in the same position but he’s been brilliant with me since I stepped into the club – always there for advice and so on. He’s someone I look up to massively in the way he goes about his work and I think all the fans here appreciate him.”

  Won TackleTotal TackleTotal CrossTotal ClearanceOutfielder BlockDuel WonAppearancesMins Played
Seamus Coleman 13 14 17 29 1 48 9 725
Tony Hibbert 4 6 1 12 2 8 3 241

He may not be the most glamorous of top-flight stars, but any aspiring youngster could do a lot worse than look to Hibbert for inspiration.

Here is a Merseyside native who has spent over 20 years on the books at Everton, graduating out of their academy system to become a model of consistency within the first team ranks.

Hibbert is something of an unsung hero, with only loyal followers of the Toffees able to recall standout moments from his 300-plus appearances to date.

The wider sporting world is, however, able to acknowledge that the 33-year-old is a valuable member of Roberto Martinez’s ranks and that Coleman can consider himself fortunate to have had such a model professional around as he seeks to emulate the achievements of a man who has spent well over a decade testing himself against the best in the business.

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