Dominic Calvert-Lewin says Everton’s Young Lions are carrying their World Cup-winning form into the new season as they seek to impress manager Ronald Koeman.
The 20-year-old forward and his fellow Blues, Ademola Lookman, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny and Callum Connolly, made history earlier this summer when they were part of the victorious England squad that won the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.
By defeating Venezuela 1-0 in the final, thanks to a predatory strike from Calvert-Lewin, Paul Simpson’s side became the first England team to win a World Cup at any level since Bobby Moore famously lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley in 1966.
Now the Toffees’ World Cup winners want to use the summer triumph as a springboard as the competition for first-team places hots up.
Calvert-Lewin said: “I think I speak for us all when I say we want to take our confidence from the World Cup into our club performances, and I think we look like we’ve done that so far in pre-season.
“I think we’ve all built up a good relationship with each other off the back of the World Cup and it’s nice to be playing for our club together now.
“With us being in the Europa League, there’s going to be lots of games and hopefully a lot of opportunities to play, so we need to make sure we are on top of our game and look to impress.
“Then, hopefully, we will get opportunities and when we do, we have to take them.”
All five of the Blues’ Young Lions have seized their chance to impress during friendly victories against Gor Mahia in Tanzania last week, and FC Twente in Holland on Wednesday.
Calvert-Lewin and Lookman were a constant source of danger during the first half against FC Twente, before Dowell capped another impressive midfield display by grabbing his second goal of pre-season to put the gloss on a 3-0 victory.
Connolly and Kenny also boosted their first-team claims with accomplished defensive performances as the Blues comfortably snuffed out their Dutch opponents.
“It’s just nice to be back on the pitch after the three weeks off we got after the World Cup,” said Calvert-Lewin, who signed from Sheffield United last August.
“Like every pre-season, it’s good to be getting minutes on the pitch and getting back into the swing of things.
“From a personal point of view, it’s nice to be playing up the top of the pitch, down the middle.
“I’m looking to pick up from where I left off in the World Cup and take that confidence into my performances here.
“The last year has gone really fast for me. I think I’ve improved a lot and I’m still looking to improve a lot more.
“I think there’s a lot more to come from me. But with the opportunities I’ve had, and the experience I can draw from that, I can only look to kick on from that as a person and as a player.
“It has been a great first year (at the Club) but the challenge for me now is to try to do better than I did in my first year. That’s going to be a tough task, but it’s what I’m looking to do.”