[Photo @ venturacountystar.com / Juan Carlo]
Everton’s first summer signing is Anton Peterlin…
Tumbleweeds roll past…
When I first heard about the signing I had no idea who Peterlin was either, but I know a bit more now. He’s a defensive midfielder, he’s American, he’s 22 years old, and the remarkable story of his journey to Goodison Park is not unlike the (hitherto unbelievable) plot of the movie Goal!
Peterlin was first recommended to David Moyes by Graham Smith, head coach of Peterlin’s former team, Ventura County Fusion. The Fusion play in the Premier Development League in the US (it’s the fourth tier of ‘soccer’ over there, but the standard is probably not quite as good as our Conference).
Moyes took Peterlin on a 10-day trial, and the young American impressed Everton’s boss enough to earn a one-year contract. It takes a lot to impress Moyesy but there was something about PeterlinÂ – a deep well of mental strength? -Â that Moyes liked: ‘Anton really impressed myself and the coaching staff with his attitude and undoubted ability,’ the Scot said.
It’s interesting how Moyes mentions attitude before ability. Aspiring pros, take note – it’s all very well being able to juggle a ball for YouTube, but if you’re not made of the right stuff, forget it.
This truly is a one-in-a-million signing, and slightly reminiscent of US defender Jay DeMerit’s move from non-league Northwood to Premier League Watford. Footballers just don’t make such a huge leap very often, but thank God there’s still room at the top for players who haven’t been groomed and scouted to within an inch of their life.
As for Peterlin, it’s only natural to doubt that he’ll get near Everton’s first team next season (and he may even be loaned out to a smaller club) but the mere fact that he has gone from the Fusion straight to Everton is enough for now.
How the media in Peterlin’s home town reported the story:
A life-changing trip
Everton fans, what do you make of the signing. A brave gamble or a big let-down?