David Unsworth is certain Everton’s World Cup winning contingent will return to Merseyside even hungrier to try to impress Blues boss Ronald Koeman.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck the only goal in Sunday’s final against Venezuela to land England Under-20s the world crown, while Jonjoe Kenny, Kieran Dowell, Ademola Lookman and Callum Connolly also impressed throughout the tournament for the Young Lions.
Under-23s coach Unsworth, who worked with the quintet as his side secured the Premier League 2 title in 2016/17, says the winning mentality of the youngsters will spur them on as they attempt to catch the eye of Koeman to earn places in his first-team squad.
“They have to enjoy this moment because it can be once in a lifetime,” Unsworth told evertonfc.com
. “They should enjoy it and go away and rest. Then they need to come back flying for pre-season - and I’m sure they will. All five of them are great lads and all desperate to be part of what is going on at our Club.
“I’m a big believer that we as the Under-23s set-up have to produce winners - humble winners - as well. They have to know what it takes to wear that famous Royal Blue shirt of ours and it’s so important they know how to win.
“They have to keep proving themselves. Just because they have come through our ranks, doesn’t mean they have a divine right to play in our first team. They need to prove it every single day in training and they need to earn their places.
“What I do know is that they’re all fighters and they’ll all give it their best to get there.”
Amidst the sea of St George’s crosses that engulfed England’s post-tournament celebrations in South Korea, an Everton flag - retrieved from the crowd by lifelong Blue Dowell - also featured.
It was a proud moment Unsworth says will live long in his memory.
“I’m delighted for them all as individuals and when I saw all the lads together at the end with the Everton flag, it was just one of the greatest sights I’ve ever seen in football,” he added.
“Seeing our young players after just winning the World Cup, proud to be representing Everton - it doesn’t get any better than that.”