Ryan Ledson has spoken of his relief at regaining his place in the England set-up after helping his nation's Under-19s record a thumping 5-1 victory over Japan on Sunday.
The midfielder missed out on two Young Lions squads earlier this season but earned his second appearance in a week at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, having netted in Thursday's 2-2 draw with Holland.
Everton duo Jonjoe Kenny and Callum Connolly also played the full 90 minutes against the Japanese as goals from Josh Onomah, Patrick Roberts, Tammy Abraham (2) and Dan Crowley capped an impressive performance.
And Ledson, who captained his country to glory in the European Under-17 Championships two years ago, admits he was delighted to be involved after what has been the most testing spell of his time in football to date.
“It was a really hard time for me and probably the toughest so far,” the 18-year-old told TheFA.com. “Not being in the first couple of squads was hurtful, but I knew I had to get my head down and work hard on the training pitch to earn another shot.
“I got that opportunity on Thursday, I think I did well and got the goal, so I’m really happy to be back.
“Every time I pull on a shirt for England I give it absolutely everything I have got. This is a very strong age group, and just to be involved shows each player they are doing well.
"Everyone, not just myself, will be looking to prove to the manager that they deserve to be here and impress ahead.”
Sunday's win maintained England Under-19s' unbeaten start to the 2015/16 campaign and, despite the two recent outings only being friendlies, Ledson believes that can only be good news for the Young Lions going forward.
“It definitely gives us momentum," he added. "Every other nation will look at the results we've had - and we have got good results away from home against the best teams.
“It can only drive us forwards towards the Euros and teams will be looking at us and thinking we are strong.”
Ledson, Kenny and Connolly will now return to Finch Farm to begin preparations for Everton Under-21s' Premier League International Cup game against FC Porto at Goodison Park on Sunday.