The second new signing for the Lads is young centre half Morgan Feeney who has captained Everton’s youth sides at under 18 and under 23 level as well as playing for the first team in Europe, the 21 year old is set to be a bright spark for Phil Parkinson this season.
The 21 year old centre back could certainly be a decent signing and prove to be stiff competition for Tom Flanagan, Bailey Wright and Jordan Willis as well as being one for the future also. He hasn’t experienced a great deal of first team football but has skippered Everton youth side at under 18 and under 23 level and featured in their under 23 league winning side in the 2016/17 campaign. Former Everton youth coach David Unsworth described Feeney as being out of Sunderland legend “Dave Watson’s school of defending” which I’m sure any centre half would take as a compliment.
Feeney has only made two appearances for the Goodison Park side at a senior level, as well as spending the tail end of last season at Prenton Park for Tranmere Rovers, however, a hamstring injury kept him out of action for most of his loan spell in the North West. Feeney broke into the under 23 side at the age of just 16 but still became a regular feature for the under 18 side, a lifelong Evertonian he’s another boyhood fan of the only permanent club he’s represented, being born in Bootle, just a few miles from Goodison.
His career has been stunted by a troublesome knee injury which prevented him from playing as much as he’d have liked to for Everton’s academy sides in March of 2018, a spell out of action which included major knee surgery to correct a long term problem. However, he impressed in Everton’s youth side which conceded just 14 goals in 22 games on their way to Premier League 2 title glory. He ended the season on a high with a crucial screamer against Newcastle’s kids in the Premier League Cup final which saw the young Blues claim the double in youth football that year.
Feeney has played very little first team football, with only one start and one sub appearance for Everton as well as just the sole appearance for Tranmere Rovers last season in a short term loan cut short by that aforementioned injury. Both of Feeney’s features for the Merseyside club were in the Europa League, making his debut off the bench against Atalanta in November 2017 and then starting in a 3-0 win at away to Apollon Limassol in Cyprus.
Feeney has also represented his country at youth level, starring at the heart of the England U17s, Under 18s and Under 19s defence; he was most successful between 2016 and 2017 whilst playing for England U18s, being capped 8 times and hitting the net twice. Despite being at Everton since the age of seven, Feeney wasn’t offered a new deal at Goodison as he was deemed surplus to requirement by Marco Silva, the 21 year had been linked with a few League 1 clubs as a free agent in June before signing for Sunderland a short while ago.
Unsworth, his long time manager, said how he is “thrilled” and how he “spoke to Phil Parkinson a week or two ago and he asked me about him, and I couldn’t have sung his praises anymore. It was like I was his agent! "I’m glad Phil has decided to take him because he’s not just a wonderful player, he’s a wonderful man. He’s been a wonderful player and skipper for me over the past couple of years.”
Feeney said of his move “I’m made up to be here. It’s a massive club and when a team like Sunderland want you, you don’t think twice. After such a long time at Everton, I couldn’t really ask for much more than to come to a club like this and I can’t wait to get started.” Phil Parkinson added that “Morgan has been training with us for a few weeks and he’s done very well. He’s a player with excellent pedigree having been in and around the England Under-19 set-up, and he will bring added competition to the defence.”