Player Profiles - CALUM DYSON
I've had a break from the Player profiles whilst here were two games a week, but they return this week with a look at Calum Dyson.
Calum, one of County's loan signings from Everton, first made the national press as a 7-year-old. A story in the Liverpool Echo during March 2004 outlined his 14 hat-tricks or better in 16 games for Barlows in the Hightown Mini League. This was picked up and used as a football snippet by some of the nationals. The article also reported that he already had a tally of 129 goals that season. Calum had been playing for Barlows since before his 5th birthday, with his speed and ability being a major contributing factor in the impressive record. His performance attracted interest through the senior professional clubs in the North West but Calum was already training with Everton.
Hailing from Fazackerley, Calum continued to make good progress with Everton, eventually signing a contract and joining their Under 16 side. Meanwhile his schoolboy football continued with Maghull High School. In 2010-11 he had a particularly good season with over 40 goals. The side reached two cup finals and Calum came up against his current County teammate Ryan Ellison (Archbishop Beck). Ryan's team won the Liverpool Echo Cup for Under-14 schoolboys. Calum was also in the Merseyside representative side competing in the Inter County competition.
When the 2012-13 season came round Callum was a regular in the Everton U18s side. The Everton scholars had a cracking season, although to their supporters, the main highlight would probably have the been a 3-1 derby victory over Liverpool. Dyson set up two goals in the game which sent Everton to the top of the U18 Premier League table. Match reports regularly mentioned Calum's contribution in both setting up and scoring goals.
June 2013 saw Calum join 14 other youth players in becoming full time members of the Academy. Being an Academy player at a Premier League club can often give you the chances you might not have had elsewhere, such as travel. This came quickly for Calum as ahead of the 2013-14 season under-18 manager Kevin Sheedy took the team to Sweden where they played in and won the Gothia Cup, after 6 games during their week away, with Calum setting up the opening goal in their 3-0 cup winning victory over IF Brommapojkarna .
During the 2013-14 Everton were again challenging for the title. There was the distraction during the first few months of 2014 with an FA Youth Cup run. Everton progressed from the 3rd round to the last 8/ During the run Calum set the side on their way to a closely fought 4-3 win over Birmingham City. They followed this up with a 2-0 win at Sheffield United, but another away tie proved a step too far as Arsenal won 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
During the successful campaign Calum scored six goals and made 10 assists. There were slip-ups not least when the U21s, including Calum, lost 7-6 on penalties at Bootle in the Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final.
The summer of 2014 was key to Calum's progress and, along with six of his team mates, the striker signed his first professional contract. Preparations this time included a tournament in South Africa. Calum and his team mates lost games against much older and stronger sides from Santos and Feyenoord before finishing with a 1-1 draw with South Africa. This season youth cup gave Calum a goal against Stevenage (3rd round 2-0 aet). They were knocked out in the following round on penalties at Southampton. The team responded well enjoying a 5-0 win over Liverpool, in a game in which Dyson scored twice.
He faced Liverpool again near the end of the season but this time as a substitute for the Under-21s. With several of their older players out on loan Everton had to introduce younger lads to their Under-21 side. He came close to earning a point for the Toffees with a late chance. I
During the summer Calum signed a two year contract keeping him at Goodison until 2017. His pre-season preparations with his parent club included a fair bit of travelling. Everton’s U21 squad were sent to Australia for a training camp. The inclusion of Calum was believe to be a sign of how he was viewed as one of the Toffees more promising youngsters. On their return they headed off again, this time for games North and South of the border in Ireland. the impressive pre-season saw a handful of goals as Everton won their first seven pre-season friendlies. It's good to see he has brought that winning - and goal scoring - form with him to County after signing on the eve of the Boston game.