Monday, July 31 – 1939
Everton players make a start.
The football season will soon be upon us, the opening League matches being due on the 26 inst. while the Scots begin a fortnight earlier. Players all over the county are starting their training. Everton players made their appearance at Goodison Park, yesterday and took part in the opening training operations.
There are 42 players on the books and the training staff were busy taking heights and weights. Thirty-six of the players reported. One of them –Fred Sweeney – only returned home from Territorial camp on Sunday. Harry Merritt goes into Territorial training next week and William Keenan is away in camp at the moment. There was only one real newcomer, in the person of E. Barber, the inside left from Blyth Spartan, who was signed in the last week of last season; though Griffiths and Percy Lovett – the latter the very promising young goalkeeper – were taking part in full time training for the first time.
Cook and Thomson make progress.
Billy Cook and Jock Thomson, who had been injured in a motor accident, were on time at the ground. Cook being the first player to sign on, Cook had the seventeen stitches inserted in his wounds, thirteen in the scalp just over the forehead and the others in his cheek and neck. Both Thomson and Cook, however, are making satisfactory, progress and hope to be fit for the start of the season. Thomson, whose injury was a cracked collar bone, had his right arm in a sting, but is to have the bandages in a week’s time. Prior to the accident Thomson spent most of the close season as is his usual custom playing golf at Carnoustie, but this time with a slight difference for he carried off the captain’s prize with two net rounds of 70 and 72.
Mr. Ernest Green, the chairman, in welcoming the players, referred to the remarkable team spirit and good conditions which worked wonders for the Everton club last season, despite the fact that when the campaign opened the critics were practically unanimous in prophesying a bad spell for them.
“We knew we were up against it last year,” said Mr. Green, ”and felt we had to fight hard to establish ourselves and get on the map. I am glad to say we did it so well as to win the championship. I have only one fear to the coming season, and that is because, being champions we may feel it is going to be easy.
“Don’t make any mistakes it will be just as hard this year. If we remember that some of the lowest clubs in the league beat us twelve months ago we will start this time with the same grim determination, team spirit, and will to win as we did last year.
“I hope it is going to be as good a season as the previous one, and I wish you all every success,” Mr. Green added.
After the chairman’s welcome the players divided into two sections – one doing road work and the other sprinting and waiting round the ground, which in the hot sun, was no easy task after the weather of late. Everything at Goodison looks spick and span. All the stands have been painted, while the turf is in such splendid condition that it seems almost sacrilege to play on it.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 01-08-1939)
Mr. Green, chairman of Everton Football Club and Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary, greeting Cook, the captain, and Thomson, the vice-captain, on their arrival yesterday at Goodison, where Everton started training for the coming season.