Duncan Ferguson has left his role on the Everton coaching staff to pursue a management career.
The former striker ended his playing days at Goodson Park and had been involved in various coaching roles with the Toffees since 2011. He stepped in as caretaker manager twice following the dismissals of Marco Silva and Rafa Benitez in 2019 and 2022 respectively, losing just one of his five games in charge.
With Everton now looking to push on under Frank Lampard, who took over mid-season, Ferguson has confirmed he has left his role as first-team assistant manager.
Ferguson told evertontv: “It’s been a massive decision for me. An incredibly difficult one but I need to move on, to take that next step in my career and look for that new challenge. Being a caretaker manager has given me confidence to step into management.
“The club has been fantastic with me. They’ve supported me all the way through my journey.
“You’ve got the chairman who has supported me as a player and as a coach. He’s been amazing with me, so I would like to thank him. And then there’s people like our CEO Denise [Barrett-Baxendale] who has been fantastic.
“It really is a caring club with some proper people in it. They’re massive Evertonians.
“And, of course, there’s the fans. They’ve been incredible to me since I came in ’94. We’ve got a strong bond.
“The relationship we’ve had over the years has been special. They know how much they mean to me. I’ll always love them.”
The Toffees escaped the 2021/22 Premier League season with a 16th-placed finish, their worst effort since 2003/04, and major additions are needed this summer to improve an out-of-shape squad.
Lampard has a massive job on his hands, but Ferguson revealed he believes Everton are in good hands.
He added: “It was difficult last season but this club is definitely heading in the right direction. It’s a fantastic club.
“The team is in good hands with Frank as manager. He’s been first class and he wanted me to stay on.
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“I can’t speak highly enough of Frank. He’s a great man and a great young manager, I’m sure he’ll do very well for Everton.
“There’s also the new stadium on the horizon which is going to be unbelievable for the club.
“I’ll be there as a supporter. My kids have got season tickets and I’ll be looking forward to coming back.”