Anthony Gordon's exclusive Preston North End column
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Everybody in the city, or it seems like everybody, is either a Liverpool or Everton fan.
For the record I was torn between the two as a kid. All my family are Reds but I was attached to Everton as a young player from a very early age and ended up signing for the Toffees as an 11-year-old.
So it is fair to say I am a blue through and through now, although all my family remain staunch fans of Jurgen Klopp’s men.
In fact when I played for Everton in the Merseyside derby last season at Goodison Park – all my family were hoping I’d score but Liverpool would go on to win!
Neither happened as the game ended 0-0 but that was a great experience especially as it was my first start for Everton in the Premier League.
Previously, I had made my debut in January of last year when I came on at half-time for the Brazilian Bernard against West Ham United at the London Stadium – a game we drew 1-1.
A couple of months later, I also came on as a second-half substitute at Stamford Bridge.
Unfortunately, we were 4-0 down against Chelsea when I came on in the 76th minute.
But those two games were memorable in the sense that there were fans inside the ground.
All my appearances since, both in the top flight for Everton and Preston in the Championship, have been behind closed doors.
It’s been a dream come true to play in the Premier League with Everton.
As everybody knows, Liverpool is a football-mad city and you grow up dreaming of becoming a professional footballer.
I guess I drove my teachers mad because I didn’t take much interest in my schoolwork – I always used to say I was going to be a footballer.
They used to tell me to make sure I had a back-up plan but I never did really.
Being a winger, I was always the kid in the playground who was on the ball and I always believed from a very young age I would make it as a footballer.
The Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has been great with me since I got in the first-team squad.
He really is one of the nicest people I have met in football, his man-management style is the best.
A lot of the other lads who have played under several different managers say he is one of the best coaches.
I have spoken to him about areas I need to improve in my game but he just encourages me to enjoy myself.
Carlo was influential in my decision to come to Preston and gain more experience.
I didn’t know what to expect because it’s the first time I have gone out on loan, but it’s been great. I have loved every minute I have been here and loved how much the players have made me welcome.
I feel like I have done well since I’ve been here and the manager Alex Neil has given me a lot of freedom to go out and play. The only thing missing is a goal – hopefully that will come this weekend against Bournemouth.
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