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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Jags Relishes Tour Role

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Phil Jagielka is relishing the added responsibility which comes with his first pre-season tour as Everton skipper.

It's been a period of firsts for the 30-year-old defender after he took over the captaincy from Phil Neville earlier this year.

But the England international insists the additional work which forms part of the captaincy is something he enjoys.

Jagielka told evertontv: "With the captaincy comes responsibility and that's something I have to take on board and hopefully do well at.

"There are quite a few firsts as the new captain, this is the first proper tour and it's exciting.

"I get asked a lot more questions, but that's something you expect. If the players aren't sure what's going on then I am normally the first port of call. It's been enjoyable but a little bit more hard work than I have been used to."

Training San Fran

Jagielka is tasked with leading the Everton side into the three-game tour which begins with a clash with Italian heavyweights Juventus on Wednesday.

He admits the calibre of the opposition has geed up the Blues squad.

Jagielka continued: "As far as the teams we have got, we couldn't have asked for a better pre-season.

"It's always nice to play for something. sometimes it can be more of a fitness session but when there is something to play for and you can get those positive vibes going."

You can watch Everton's games in the USA on live on evertontv, or on demand afterwards.

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