Everton hero Michael Ball says the value of the U23 competition was proven with victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.
"And the evidence of the dividends such a policy can pay were there in the final 20 minutes on Saturday, when Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny came on against Bournemouth and made such an impact.
"They didn't just add youthful zest and drive into Everton's play – they know each other's game inside out.
"Oumar Niasse, while not one of the younger players in the squad, also knows all about the U23s having played much of his football at that level.
"It showed – and Oumar referenced that fact afterwards when he explained that it was no coincidence that Davies has now set up all three of his goals since his return to the first-team fold."