Eager Michael Donohue hopes being fully fit for pre-season can help him cement his place as a regular for Everton's Under-21s.
The 17-year-old began his scholarship at the Blues’ Academy in 2014 sidelined through injury, missing last summer’s warm-weather training camp in Austria.
However, the Warrington-born winger, who on Friday signed his first pro deal with the Club
, was able to travel to the training base in Obertraun where David Unsworth's side kicked off their 2015/16 preparations last week and now hopes to build on the four outings he made for the development squad in the latter part of the last campaign.
"It's my first time in Austria because I was injured last year when I was supposed to come with the Under-18s, so it’s great that David Unsworth has brought me out with the Under-21s," Donohue told evertontv during his time in the Alps. "The facilities are great - I honestly can’t believe how good they are. The training has been hard and the altitude makes a difference.
“It will be good to be involved in pre-season this year, having missed it last summer. I did quite a bit in my four weeks off as well to make sure I was ready.”
Having been at the Club since the age of eight, Donohue now wants to thrive as a second-year scholar and tackle head on the largest age-group jump a young player faces.
He added: "It’s a big step up to the Under-21s because you’re basically playing men’s football when you come into this age. Unsy makes sure training is always intense; you never get a minute to ease off.
"I want to stay with the Under-21s this season. I want to train with them all the time and try to get in the team. That’s my challenge - to show enough in training so Unsy picks me for the games and that all starts here in pre-season."