By Joe Ellis

13th Apr, 2022 | 9:10pm

Everton announce academy affiliate link with Clifton Park

Today (13 April), Everton announced that American-based football academy Clifton Park have linked up with the club as an affiliate.

The side, based in Saratoga County in the state of New York, have become the first from the Empire State to join Everton’s International Academy Affiliate Programme.

Everton will provide Clifton Park with access to their academy curriculum as well as a dedicated academy coach along with technical support from the club’s training ground, Finch Farm.

As well as this new affiliation, the Liverpool Echo are reporting that the Toffees are set to head Stateside for their 2022/23 pre-season tour.

They were the only Premier League side to travel to the United States last pre-season, winning the Florida Cup, but this time there could be games on both the east and west coasts of the country.

Expand and overcome

With each passing year, more and more top-quality American footballers are emerging and soon enough they will be able to compete with Europe’s finest on every level.

Their qualification for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, where they were drawn in England’s group, will only increase the hunger for the game in the land of the free.

This affiliation might be Everton’s ticket to having first dibs on some of the east coast’s finest young talent which can only be a good thing if the progression keeps going at the rate it has been.

It’s been quite a long time since Landon Donovan came to Goodison Park during the MLS off-season but maybe the next US-based star will be here longer than a few months.

We won’t see the fruits of these labours for some time yet but eventually, we will have a world-class American talent on our doorstep thanks to this affiliation and many others like it.

In other Everton news, this Englishman could be set for a new role at Goodison Park after a major development this week.

Be sure to follow Goodison News on Facebook for 24/7 updates on Everton plus more exclusive interviews with Kevin Campbell.