In May 2010, Jill Scott starred in Everton’s famous FA Cup overtime final victory over Arsenal. The Gunners had won the competition four years ago on the trot, were the dominant force in English football and just didn’t like to be beaten.
The Toffees had been slamming on their heels for years, but other than a 2007/08 League Cup triumph, they had little to show for their efforts.
But that May afternoon at the City Ground saw Everton win one of the biggest shocks in women’s FA Cup history as their years of pushing Arsenal to the end have finally paid off. It should have been the catalyst for years of success.
Instead, three years later Scott signed for Manchester City alongside former Everton teammate Toni Duggan. In September 2014, the Toffees were relegated, ending their 21-year stint in the top flight.
After years of stagnation, Everton have started to rebuild themselves to become one of the great forces in women’s football.
The first signs that the club had real ambitions again date back to January 2020 when they announced the signing of England international and Champions League winner Izzy Christiansen from Lyon.
The midfielder has excelled this season, scoring four goals and four assists and looking for an absolute class act.
Australia international Hayley Raso followed, and the club have spent a lot to bring French striker Valerie Gauvin to Merseyside this summer. Full-back Poppy Pattinson turned down a new Bristol City deal to sign for the Toffees, saying 90 mins it was the club’s ambitions that attracted her.
And now the club have announced the re-signing of English legend Jill Scott on loan until the end of the 2020/21 season – another huge statement signing.
Scott has been a driving figure for club and country for the past decade and has been one of England’s most consistent performers at the 2019 World Cup. His work pace and athleticism remain among the best. , despite turning 34 in February.
The midfielder has seen his first-team opportunities at City unusually limited this tenure following the arrival of Sam Mewis from the USWNT, which has been frankly sensational.
But the lack of minutes and the fact that she is reaching the last stages of her career does not mean that Scott has surpassed his best. With Mewis on an international mission, Scott made it perfectly back to City’s starting XI for Sunday’s victory over Aston Villa, placing on the scoresheet and playing a key role in City’s opening goal. With her quality and experience, she can have a big role to play at Everton.
This is the first time in Scott’s career that she has truly faced not being a regular starter. It’s a testament to her character and eagerness to play football that her first instinct was to move somewhere where she will have minutes on the pitch – potentially with an eye on the 2021 Olympic team. also a testament to Everton’s ambition to be able to call on someone of Scott’s caliber.
It’s a smart move for Scott and a big catch for Everton, continuing to demonstrate the club’s intention.