Blues' World Cup Winners: Time To Look Forward

by Mike Taylor @Everton

The message is clear: Everton’s World Cup winning quintet enjoyed their summer glory but now they’re only looking forward.

Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman and Callum Connolly all reported to USM Finch Farm to complete their first day of pre-season yesterday.

The quintet, of course, played key roles in Paul Simpson’s triumphant England Under-20s squad in South Korea over the summer.

Calvert-Lewin netted the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Venezuela in the final in front of a capacity-crowd of 43,959 at the Suwon World Cup Stadium.

And while the 19-year-old admits it was an unforgettable moment, he insists his focus is now solely on impressing Blues manager Ronald Koeman in pre-season.

“I’ll never forget it for as long as I live,” he exclusively told evertontv. “It was a great achievement to score in the final and, with it being the winner, it makes it that little bit extra special.

“I’ve had a chance to reflect on it. I’ve been away on holiday and every day I just think back to that moment and how good it was. I enjoyed the moment, but we’re back here for pre-season now so you can’t enjoy it for too long.

“It’s a case of looking forward now. We all want to kick on and hopefully us winning the World Cup puts us in a good place heading into pre-season. We all want to do our best, get in the team and play as much as we can.”

Dowell agreed with his teammate’s sentiment, while also explaining the source of the Everton flag that could be seen during the trophy presentation.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet, really,” he said. “You come back off your holiday and everyone is reminding you that you’ve won the World Cup. Whenever you hear it, it gives you a confidence boost and we want to take that into next season.

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“The flag came about when I caught the eye of some Everton fans in the crowd and ran over to celebrate with them. They had Everton shirts on and they threw me their flag, so I took it back to the rest of the lads and we had it with us for all the celebrations!”

Right-back Kenny, who played every minute of every game throughout the tournament, added: “I’m made up to be back. When you’ve had a couple of weeks off, you always want to get back into the swing of things and playing again.

“I want to get stuck into pre-season now and see where that takes me. I want to be part of the first team - that’s what we’re all here to do.”

Boyhood Blue Callum Connolly says he was proud to represent his Club on the world stage.

“It was a great moment, something I’m very proud of,” he said. “Obviously with all of our lads out there, it was a great achievement for the Club - but it was a great achievement for the country in general as well.

“Our goal going into the tournament was to win it and thankfully we could come away with the trophy.”

January recruit Lookman, who was widely hailed as one of the stand-out performers of the tournament, has set his sights on using momentum from the success in 2017/18.

“I think I did well - I grew and got better over the course of the tournament,” he explained. “Of course, it has given me a confidence boost heading into pre-season. We want to take that momentum forward and we’re all looking forward to pre-season now.

“The reaction has been great here, everyone has been congratulating myself and the rest of the lads.”

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