23 Seamus Coleman

irl Ireland
October 11, 1988

Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman is Everton’s established right-back.

He has been with the Club since January 2009 when he was recruited from Sligo Rovers, having also had reported interest from Celtic, Birmingham City, and Ipswich Town.

The defender had earlier began his career at hometown side Killybegs.

Having arrived at Goodison for just £60,000, Coleman has progressed to play just short of 250 games for the Toffees by the end of the 2016/17 season.

He also boasts an attacking threat and has consistently chipped in with goals and assists from his role as a marauding full-back or wing-back.

The Donegal-born man earned honours with Republic of Ireland’s youth sides before making his senior international debut in 2011.

During Ireland’s adventure at Euro 2016 he wore the captain’s armband twice, leading the team to a famous victory over Italy in the group stage of the competition.

He was named the Republic of Ireland captain on a permanent basis when Robbie Keane retired following Euro 2016 and scored his maiden international goal at senior level in a 1-0 win against Georgia in a World Cup qualifier in October 2016.

Coleman originally began as a central defender before making the switch to full-back.

Upon signing for Everton, he linked up with Andy Holden and Alan Stubbs in the Blues’ reserve team squad, but by the time the 2009/10 season came around he was on the fringes of the first team squad.

But he was dealt a major blow in pre-season when a freak foot infection threatened his career. Coleman battled back though, and was handed a senior start in, of all places, the Stadium of Light in Benfica.

He then played at Bolton and AEK Athens before turning in a fabulous performance on his home debut, setting up two goals against Tottenham in December 2009.

He remained on the fringes of the first team squad before moving to Blackpool on loan in March 2010.

During his time at Bloomfield Road, Coleman helped Blackpool to win promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.

Coleman made 12 appearances for Ian Holloway’s side and played in every minute of their play-off victories over Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City.

He signed a new three-year contract days before play-off final glory.

He saw plenty of action in 2010/11, scoring a first Everton goal at Brentford in the Carling Cup and a subsequent first Premier League start at Fulham four days later.

Ironically Coleman’s first Premier League goal came against Blackpool in November 2010. Playing on the right of midfield the Irishman netted in the 2-2 draw at Bloomfield Road.

He continued in excellent form and signed a new four-and-a-half year deal in January 2011.

In February 2011 Coleman’s excellent performances for his Club were rewarded with his first cap for the Republic of Ireland.

Coleman started the 3-0 Carling Nations Cup win over Wales and played for 59 minutes before being replaced by Keith Fahey.

His rapid development was confirmed at the end of the season when he was shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Season prize and was named as Everton’s outstanding young performer.

Coleman suffered an ankle ligament injury on the eve of the 2011/12 campaign and missed the start of the season.

But he returned not long into the season and continued to be a valuable squad member.

The 2012/13 campaign offered increased opportunities at right-back, with Club veteran Tony Hibbert suffering a succession of injuries. Grasping those chances with both hands, Coleman put in impressive displays in defence, as well as becoming a dangerous outlet in attack.

In late December 2012, his form was rewarded with a new five-and-a-half-year deal and Coleman followed that up by netting a sublime lob in the Blues’ 5-1 FA Cup third round win at Cheltenham on 7 January, 2013.

He was chosen as the Man of the Match in a friendly against England at Wembley in May 2013, which topped off an exciting season for the Republic of Ireland international.

Coleman was a regular for Everton in 2013/14 by making 41 appearances in all competitions, scoring an impressive seven goals from right-back.
His stellar form that year that saw him scoop the Club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year honours, while he was also named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Coleman earned a new five-and-a-half year contract in June 2014 and he featured 42 times the following season, scoring five more goals.

He starred 34 more times in 2015/16 and finished the season by starring at Euro 2016.

He played in all four games in France, wearing the captain’s armband twice and later being handed the honour on a permanent basis, as Republic made it through to the knockout stages before suffering elimination by the hosts.

Coleman picked up where he left off in the summer when he returned to Everton ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, with new manager Ronald Koeman at the helm.

After a barren spell – by his own high standards – in front of goal the previous campaign, Coleman netted four vital goals for the Blues, as well as his first for the Republic of Ireland, before suffering a horrific leg break while on international duty in March.

With the popular defender set for a long spell on the sidelines, Evertonians around the world sent messages and handwritten letters of support for one of their favourite sons, while the famous ‘Sixty grand, sixty grand…” chant was heard at stadiums up and down the country in Coleman’s absence.

Despite being sidelined, the Irishman signed a new long-term contract with Everton in May 2017.

Coleman described his new deal, which Chairman Bill Kenwright revealed was in the pipeline before his injury, as a “massive boost”.