Moyes turns to Goodison youth

BY foxsports • December 16, 2009

Moyes might even be tempted to start with 16-year-old left-back Jack Bidwell and midfielder Adam Forshaw, who is only two years older, against BATE Borisov. Everton have already secured a place in the last 32 and the squad is riddled with injuries. Moyes said: "We have earned the right in this game to play a very young team because we have qualified. "There is a little bit of concern that BATE are a decent side. I thought they and Benfica would be our biggest threats. "BATE have a number of international players in their squad but whatever opportunities you have in life, you have to try and take them. "And there are opportunities here for youngsters at Everton because we do not have the biggest squad." Bidwell has played for England Under-17s and Under-16s and has forced his way into the reserves this season. He has already savoured scoring at Goodison Park, finding the target in the FA Youth Cup win over Nantwich last season. Liverpool-born Forshaw is playing regularly for the reserves and is making a name for himself as a dead-ball specialist. Another 16-year-old, left-back Luke Garbutt, could also come into contention. He was signed from Leeds in the summer for an initial £600,000 fee. Others on the alert are Jose Baxter, Shane Duffy, Hope Akpan, James McCarten and Shkodran Mustaphi. Moyes has confirmed Tony Hibbert will captain the team as the versatile defender will be making a club-record 20th European appearance. The Scot said: "The reason he has got those figures is the competition has changed. We have group stages now. "These tournaments are organised in a different way. But it is still a terrific honour. "His name will be at the top of that list when people talk about games in Europe. Hopefully there will be many more games to come from him." Goalkeeper Carlo Nash will make a rare appearance between the posts while Kieran Agard could start up front. Leon Osman might have also a run-out following a foot injury. Moyes admits he is pleased his team will, after Thursday, be taking a break from European competition for a couple of months. He added: "I do not think people realise what it takes out of the players. We have had to play nearly the same team in every game. It has really taken its toll on us. "We have had Sunday-Thursday-Sunday-Thursday for weeks now and had 10 or 12 players out. It has been a dreadful situation. But we wanted to get through and did it."


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