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Team Spirit Drove Title Quest, Says Skipper Feeney

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Everton Under-23s captain Morgan Feeney believes the team’s strong team spirit and shared winners' mentality were decisive factors in the young Blues’ charge towards the Premier League 2 title.

David Unsworth’s team beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 at a joyous Goodison Park on Monday night to secure a second league triumph in three seasons.

Josh Bowler’s brilliant individual effort proved the difference as the Toffees delivered a stirring performance when it mattered most.

The victory over the second-placed Seagulls gives Everton a six-point advantage at the top of the league standings with just one match remaining.

For Feeney, lifting the trophy marks an incredible turnaround. Last year, he underwent surgery on both knees to correct a long-standing problem with his patella tendons.

After seven months on the sidelines, he made his comeback for the Under-23s in September and has gone on to play an integral role in their title-winning campaign.

“We worked hard this season and it’s a great reward at the end of it, especially to win the league at Goodison,” Feeney, who has marshalled a Toffees defence that has conceded just 12 goals in 21 league matches, told

“I’d like to thank all the fans, as well. It just made it that bit more special with them here.

“It’s all about development at this level, of course, but in this league, we’re in it to win it.

“You could see at the end the way we all rallied together.

“We had some difficult times [against Brighton], but the team spirit gives us that edge in games – it’s really good among the players.

“I was out injured for a long time and it’s a relief, really, to lift that trophy. It’s all fallen into place again and I’m feeling a lot better.”

The England Under-19 international also reserved praise for matchwinner Bowler, whose superbly-taken goal capped a sparkling performance.

“Josh is brilliant,” Feeney added.

“We know what he is capable of, and he’s frightening with his left foot.

“He could have had a couple more goals – he’s that good. I’m made up for him.”

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