Steven Naismith glad to make Everton debut after nine months out

Having played his first game since October, the former Rangers man has spoken of his joy at returning to the field after a knee injury forced him to sit on the sidelines
Everton forward Steven Naismith has spoken of his delight to make his debut for his new club after making his first appearance on a football field since October.

Naismith was ruled out for nine months with a knee injury, and then his move from Rangers to Goodison Park was delayed by administrative problems, but now he is finally able to appear for the Toffees, and played the final 20 minutes of their draw away to Motherwell.

"It was great to make my debut," Naismith told Everton's official website.

"It made it that extra bit special because I've been out for quite a while and there was the legal stuff to get through.

"But I'm glad that it's all passed now and I can focus on getting my fitness back and staking a claim for the first game of the season.

"I've had a taste of it for the last couple of weeks with the squad. I was dying to get back on the pitch and link up with the boys.

"I had a wee test - 20 minutes or so - and hopefully there's more to come in the coming weeks.

"I felt strong from the test I got today. It's just about the short sharp stuff and the games are going to come thick and fast which will be good for me.”

Naismith also praised both the fans and players of his new club, who have been instrumental in making him feel at ease in his new surroundings since his arrival from Ibrox.

He added: "I got a warm reception from the Everton fans, which was nice, hopefully I can show them what I can do in the coming weeks and months.

"The boys have made me very welcome. They are different class. Moving to a new club, there's always a bit of nerves to see how you'll settle in.

"But every one of them has made we feel very welcome."

Everton will next face a Malaysia XI in Indonesia on July 27th as part of the Java Cup, a four-team tournament that also involves the Indonesia national team and Turkish side Galatasaray.