Phil Jagielka is champing at the bit for some match action at Blackpool on Sunday.
After watching Euro 2012 from England’s substitutes’ bench, Jagielka and Leighton Baines had an extended summer break, meaning they returned after Everton’s three friendlies to date.
So the match at Bloomfield Road on Sunday is etched firmly at the forefront of the defender’s mind.
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“I am looking forward to the first game,” Jagielka told evertontv.
“When I drove into training for the first time I got goosebumps at coming to see the lads, shaking their hands and having a bit of a laugh and a joke.
“I’ve never been this late back into pre-season and me and Bainesy have been training with the reserves. We have come back in decent condition but it has been good.
“I can’t wait for the first game and kick on from there.”
Jagielka admitted he would have liked to have featured on the pitch for England in Poland and Ukraine but insisted he would reflect on a positive experience.
“It was good,” he said. “I would have loved to have got a bit of game time, but I’ve never been to a major tournament before so it was nice to get in there.
“Roy was fantastic to work with. He had a hard job coming in so late but he galvanised the squad and in the end we didn’t lose a game over 90 minutes.”