Everton Under-21s forward Courtney Duffus says he has benefited from his loan spell at Bury, despite his time with the Shakers being cut short.
Duffus signed for Bury in October, making five appearances, three of which were from the substitutes' bench before being recalled by Everton in November.
The striker had been due to stay at Gigg Lane for three months but he has no regrets about his time in League Two.
“It’s helped me massively. I’ve come back and I’m feeling stronger, fitter and sharper,” Duffus told evertonfc.com. “Going to the lower leagues you appreciate everything what you have got here at Everton 10 times as much.
“I learnt more about the physicality of the game and it’s made me realise just how fit you’ve got to be to play first team football.”
Duffus completed 90 minutes for the Under-21s in the 1-0 defeat to Leicester on Monday afternoon – the Young Blues’ first action in a month.
The break in the fixture schedule did allow Duffus and his teammates the opportunity to train with the first-team and the chance to work with Samuel Eto’o and Romelu Lukaku.
“I love going up to the first team, just being around them and training with them is great,” added the striker, whose younger brother Tyrone is a member of the Club’s Under-18s squad.
“They are always speaking to me, giving me advice and trying to help me. The more time I spend around them the better it’s going to be for me as a player.”