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Phil Jagielka: Seamus Coleman deserves to be leading Everton out at new stadium

Former Everton skipper Phil Jagielka would love to see current captain Seamus Coleman lead the Toffees out when they move into their new stadium in 2025.

Former Everton skipper Phil Jagielka would love to see current captain Seamus Coleman lead the Toffees out when they move into their new stadium in 2025.

Coleman, 35, this month signed a new one-year deal to play a 16th season with Everton, the last in which they will play at Goodison Park before moving to their new home at Bramley Moore Dock.

Jagielka believes Coleman has played a huge role in helping Everton through the struggles of recent years — not least last season's double points deduction — and reckons the chance to appear at their new home would be the perfect reward.

"He's been a massive part of the glue that has kept this club together," Jagielka said. "When times are tough off the pitch you need people in and around the changing room that have to take it on the chin and galvanise the team.

"He's had to do that. The squad has had a big turnaround. He's got to be the guy that leads it. He's got people that help him but he's the face of it.

"He still performs on the pitch — that's the be all and end all to get a new deal. But it's also the things he's done behind closed doors.

"For me, he deserves to be that person leading Everton out into the new stadium. That would be a lovely cherry on the cake for him. He's dedicated a lot of his life and his career to Everton and hopefully he gets to do that."

Everton were docked eight points last term for breaches of the Premier League‘s profit and sustainability rules, but nevertheless finished 14 clear of the bottom three.

Given the immense challenges on and off the field, Jagielka said manager Sean Dyche had done a brilliant job.

"The Premier League is the hardest division in the world, and when you're getting points taken off you for off-the-field things it's really tough, but the boys rallied around," he said.

"Once the points deduction came in, I think if you said they'd be safe with two or three games to spare everyone would have bitten your hand off.

"Next season will be just as tough because expectations will have to be higher, but as far as the job (Dyche) has done at the moment, I don't think anyone could have done anything better."

Jagielka was speaking as he trained with Everton Amputee FC, who will be at St George's Park this weekend playing in the FA Disability Cup finals.

Everton will take on Portsmouth in the amputee final on Saturday morning — a repeat of last year's showpiece which Everton won 4-2 to lift the cup for the second time.

It is one of six fixtures over the weekend with the finals also taking place in the blind, cerebral palsy, deaf, partially sighted and powerchair categories.

"It's amazing for them to get to the final," Jagielka added. "We're all one massive family at Everton so we'll be giving them as much support as we can and hopefully we can enhance their chances of bringing the cup home.

"It's a two-way street. They can teach me a few new skills that I've not used before. We all try and aspire to be the best we can as footballers.

"My time has finished but these guys have been fortunate enough to get to a final so we chat to them, try to give them some insights that can help them on the big day, and vice-versa."

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