Just two days in to his new role, former Everton star David Unsworth is already certain the old Bellefield spirit lives on at Finch Farm.
Unsworth rejoined the Blues on Monday as an assistant manager to Under-21s chief Alan Stubbs.
An unforgiving defender, Unsworth spent his Goodison years at the Club’s former training ground in West Derby, rising through the ranks to make over 300 appearances during two spells.
Everton decamped from Bellefield to the new multi-million pound complex in Halewood in October 2007, three years after Unsworth had made his final outing for the Club.
But having had even the briefest taste of the present day surrounds, the 1995 FA Cup winner is confident nothing of Everton’s camaraderie or never-say-die spirit has disappeared.
“It’s great to see so many familiar faces and I was made to feel very welcome on my first day, I can assure you,” Unsworth told evertontv.
“The facilities are brilliant, I have to say. Bellefield did have its place and at the time that was a great place to be and work, and there was a great feeling there.
“But this place has got that feeling as well because you take those characters with you – the kitmen, the ground staff and so on – and you put them in a new building and they recreate it and make new memories.
“Time has moved on and Finch Farm is phenomenal.”
Unsworth returned to his former home following spells coaching in the Championship and League One with Preston North End and Sheffield United.
And having worked with the youth teams at both his previous clubs, the Chorley-born 39-year-old feels well-placed to help mould the quality of player Roberto Martinez desires for his Toffees first-team.
“I’m demanding,” he stressed. “I like to see a high tempo and training that’s relative to the game. I like how the manager and Graeme [Jones] and Alan want to play the game, and you structure your training to that.
“We want to see players working their socks off, showing desire, dedication and everything that you would consider to epitomise an Everton player. That will never change.
“And we want to see winners. Because at the end of it, you’ve got to be winners because we’re looking to get the Under-21s into the first team and you’ve got to be a winner because the Everton first team are challenging at the top of the league. That’s our challenge.”