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Aug 21, 2011

Neville signs new Everton deal

Everton captain Phil Neville has signed a contract extension to stay at Goodison Park until 2013.

•  Everton 0-1 QPR
Everton blog: An all time low?

Neville added an extra year to his current deal just hours before Everton's defeat to QPR in their first game of the Premier League season on Saturday.

The 34-year-old has made 228 appearances for the club - including 35 last term - after making the switch from Manchester United in 2005.

He told the club's website: "I feel really proud and this club has never let me down.

It's shown faith in me again and for the next two years I'm going to give my all for this football club. That's what I've done for the last six years and that's what I'll continue to do."

"I want to play beyond that," Neville said of the length of his new deal. "But for the next two years I'm going to give my all. I love playing for Everton. I love the spirit in the club, I love the togetherness, and that's going to continue."

Neville also saluted academy product Ross Barkley after the 17-year-old made his Premier League debut in the defeat to QPR.

He put many of his more senior team-mates to shame with his endeavour and enthusiasm and Neville said the youngster should have got more help on his maiden appearance.

"Ross was outstanding without going too much overboard,'' he said. "People say bravery is going around kicking and fighting people, but it is taking the ball when you are 1-0 down and showing you can play football and he did that.

"I think everyone is quietly confident we have got something really special. This club produce not only good footballers but really good down-to-earth lads and he wants to learn and if he keeps his feet on the ground he has a really good chance.

"Ross is lucky in that he is going to get his chance because that is what the manager does, he gives youth a chance.

"It is up to us to support him because sometimes young players come on and do take the fight for the team - I have been there myself - and it is something you enjoy.

"At the moment you just say let him play and be free and there will be dips but we have to make sure as experienced players we are there supporting him. But he can be well pleased with his debut.''

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