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    Highly rated Everton youngster signs new contract

    Hallam Hope has signed a new two-year deal with Everton.

    The Manchester-born striker is now under contract at Goodison Park until the summer of 2015.

    Hope, 19, is the latest Blues starlet to commit his future to the Club.

    Matthew Pennington, Chris Long, Conor Grant and Ibou Tourayall put pen-to-paper on their first professional deals in pre-season, with Tyias Browning and Luke Garbutt also agreeing contract extensions in recent months.

    Hope, who originally joined the Blues academy from Manchester City in 2005, has enjoyed a bright start to the 2013/14 season, scoring twice for the Under-21s.

    He was on target in the 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers in August and helped Alan Stubbs’s side register a 1-1 draw in their last outing at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park on Monday.

    Hope, reflecting on what has been a positive week, told evertontv: “I was happy to score against Newcastle – we got a good point there – and now I’m obviously delighted to sign a new contract.

    “It’s always easier once you know your deal is sorted out and now I’m happy to move on, work on my game and try to become a better player.”

    Everton Under-21s coach Alan Stubbs has put faith in Hope this season, naming the England youth international in the starting line-up for each of the second string’s five league matches so far.

    The forward admits that trust has filled him with renewed levels of self-belief.

    “He [Stubbs] has helped me a lot,” Hope continued. “I’ve learnt more in the last two seasons than I have ever learnt before. He is a good coach and we have all got a good relationship with him in the team.

    “He’s done lots of one-to-one training with me on the pitch and in the video room he has looked at areas of my game where I could do better. From when I was younger, I have definitely started to look at the game in different ways.”

    Hope was also quick to praise the input of David Unsworth, who returned to Everton last week as the new Under-21s assistant manager.

    Hope continued: “He [Unsworth] is very enthusiastic and he is another good person to have around the Club. They [Unsworth and Stubbs] have had great careers and it’s good that we can learn from people who have already done it.”

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