Jess Park: Everton’s star signing

Photo: Hana Basir

As the Barclays Women’s Super League has come to a pause for the international break, there’s been some enticing football on show. However, one player in particular has played some entertaining and majestic football. That being Everton’s number eleven Jess Park.

Park joined Everton back in July on a loan deal from Manchester City. Since joining the Toffees, the 21-year-old has bagged herself a goal and assist in six appearances. Despite spending the latter part of last season named on the bench for Man City, Park has earned a place in the starting eleven for Everton and has played an influential role for them so far.

Before her season-long loan deal at Everton, Park signed a contract extension with City until 2026. The lifelong City fan first signed for the club in 2017 from her hometown club York City. Over her years at the club she’s passed the fifty appearances mark and provided an important assist to Georgia Stanway in the 2020 FA Cup Final. In a short time she’s most certainly made a name for herself.

Jess Park thrives on the right hand side of the pitch which allows her to get the ball towards goal.  The quality of the balls she sends into the box often mean she can find a teammate in an attempt to set them up for a goal. This signifies how essential she is within the Everton side and how important her contributions have been.

A noticeable attribute of the forward is her pace. Playing in the WSL and getting past a teams defence can be an issue for some sides. However, Park’s pace enables her to get onto the end of balls and sprint past other teams. Being gifted with her pace makes her lethal in front of goal and hard work to deal with from a defending point of view. Everton’s style of play suits her well, when signing she said she “liked to have the ball at her feet” and “run at players” which is exactly what she’s been able to do. The way that Park moves the ball around the pitch with speed leads her to make fast decisions, however when under pressure with the ball, she stays composed.

One of the things that set Park apart from other players is her footwork and her ability to get past players in order to get the ball where she needs it to be. Since joining the Toffees you have been able to see this when watching her play. Most evidently in her sublime performance against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. The derby was the game in which Park scored a quality goal before later setting her teammate up when she got past two of Liverpool’s players with the ball. Her performance led her to win the Player Of The Match.

Park’s creativeness, pace and ability to get around the players also caught the eye of Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman. In previous years, the young talent represented England at youth ages and also captained a game. Back in 2021 I sat down to interview Jess where she mentioned that it was her “biggest target” to break into the senior side.

At the time of writing this, Park has just made her senior debut. Not only did she just make her debut, she scored her first goal within 79 seconds of entering the pitch; a very memorable night for the youngster in Spain.

[blockquote text=”I’ve dreamt of this since I was a little girl and now I’m here and it’s come true.” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#dd3333″]
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