Long: Big Dunc taught me

Chris Long says hard work and advice on the training pitch from club legend Duncan Ferguson led to his first senior goal for Everton.

The 19-year-old, who represented England at the U20s World Cup last summer, was overjoyed to register his first strike for the Toffees against SC Paderborn on Saturday.

Academy graduate Long showed great technique to collect a pass from Leighton Baines before turning and dragging the ball away from his marker in one movement and curling a shot into the top-right corner against the German outfit.

Everton legend Duncan Ferguson

Everton legend Duncan Ferguson

And following the game, which Everton eventually lost by 3-1, Long admitted he had taken guidance from the former Everton forward-turned-coach.

“I’d tried that trick before and when Baines hit the ball to me, I thought I may be able to whip it into the far corner,” he explained to EvertonTV.

“I used to work on it in training with the U18s and Big Dunc used to teach me – we’ve worked on it for the past few years.

“It’s the best feeling in the world, especially when you support Everton. I can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. Aside from the loss, I’m made up with the goal.”

Long has played for England at U16, U17, U18, U19 and U20 level in recent years and had a spell on-loan at League One outfit MK Dons last season, where he scored once in four games. 

Long scored against Uruguay for England U20s last summer

That was his first taste of senior football and he has since been involved with Roberto Martinez’s first team squad this pre-season, something which he has been “loving” so far.

“I’ve loved being with the first-team for the last two months,” he said. 

“I was with the Under-21s for a week in pre-season and then the gaffer told me I was going to be with them.

“I’ve taken it in my stride and I’m loving it.”