Joe Royle returns to Everton

Joe Royle. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Former Everton manager Joe Royle has rejoined the staff at Goodison Park as part of Roberto Martinez's backroom team.

The 65-year-old has been brought in to help young players breaking through from the academy and Under-21 set-up while he will also assist in scouting and the recruitment of players.

Royle was a product of the Goodison youth system and went on to score 119 goals in 275 appearances for Everton from 1966-74 before winning the FA Cup during his three-year spell as manager in the 1990s.

Bringing through young players has been an area of strength for Everton, with Ross Barkley the latest off the production line, and manager Martinez believes Royle will be a valuable addition.

The Spaniard said on evertonfc.com: "Everyone knows the incredible influence Joe has had at our football club, both as a player and a manager.

"He is a true Evertonian and we all welcome him back to Goodison Park.

"We are all very excited with the talent coming through in our academy and we pride ourselves on the work we do with the young players.

"Joe's experience and football know-how will be hugely beneficial for the youngsters at a key stage of their development. He is the first major change in our structure in player development."

Royle only took up a role as footballing consultant to Norwich manager Neil Adams in June, and he said: "I was happy with my role at Norwich City and wouldn't have considered an offer from any other club than Everton.

"It's like coming home for me.

"I made my debut for Everton as a 16-year-old so I understand what it means to be a young player coming through at this football club.

"I'm looking forward to using my experience to help the players we have here.

"I admire what Roberto achieved in his debut season and I am really looking forward to working alongside him."

Chairman Bill Kenwright added: "Joe is an Everton giant in every sense of the word and it's great that he has come back home.

"Developing more young players is really important to us and we know Joe will play an important role in helping us achieve these aims."