Defender, Reece Welch has signed a new four-year contract at Everton until end of June 2026.
Welch graduated through Everton’s youth academy and made his senior debut as a substitute in their Fifth Round victory at home to Boreham Wood in last season’s FA Cup.
The 19 year-old centre-back then made his first senior start for the club in their Second Round victory at Fleetwood Town in this season’s Carabao Cup in late August, and has since regularly trained and featured in the senior matchday squad despite making no further first-team appearances.
Welch described his decision to commit his future to Everton with this fresh contract as “amazing” as he spoke to evertontv., having joined the club at the age of seven years-old and has since seen many players graduate into the first-team, including Tom Davies and Anthony Gordon.
He nevertheless felt that seeing those players progress from Academy to first-team squad status is something which “inspires” him to follow in their footsteps.
On what he now wants to achieve at Goodison Park, Welch commented: “I want to kick on in the First Team, look to make a few more appearances and show what I’m about. I want to wear this blue shirt in the Premier League and, long-term, help Everton to success.”
Welch also spoke of fan expectations of players as he added: “Everton fans want hard work, dedication and passion for the Club and if I can give that, hopefully I’ll be able to do a good job for Everton.”
With Frank Lampard as manager and Ashley Cole on the coaching team, Welch believes that their experience is “helpful”, given that they’ve “… won so many trophies, represented England and now they are here teaching me everything. All I can do is listen to them and put it into my work.”
Welch has also benefitted from the support of experienced defenders in James Tarkowski and Conor Coady who both joined this summer, as he described them as “mentors” and has vowed to “just try to take everything on board from them.”
Everton’s Director of Football., Kevin Thelwell added that Welch’s new four-year contract is a “reward” for his “hard work and progress” throughout his time at the club, whilst the youngster also represents an example of their “clear pathway” from the Academy to the senior squad.
On what Welch now needs to do to improve his game, Thelwell has urged him to continue learning from other “talented defenders” in the first-team squad and push for further senior football.