David Unsworth has hailed Everton’s England Under-21 quartet as “serial winners” has they lifted the Toulon Tournament trophy on Saturday.
The Blues Under-23s coach watched on as Kieran Dowell netted the young Lions’ winner over Mexico, a goal that secured a third straight Toulon title.
Dowell was joined in the starting line-up by defenders Jonjoe Kenny and Callum Connolly, while Tom Davies was an unused sub, with all four adding another winners’ medal to their collections, having lifted the Under-20s World Cup one year ago.
And Unsworth believes that winning mentality can only benefit them when they return home to USM Finch Farm.
“It is something special when you see Everton players playing for England, not just winning games but winning trophies as well,” he told evertonfc.com. “I can’t tell the fans enough that these boys are serial winners. They love winning and they have won throughout their journeys with the Academy, through to the Under-23s and away with England.
“The lads have just carried on from where the left off last summer when they won the Under-20s World Cup. It is obviously brilliant to see Everton players representing England but when they are winning with England it is even better.
“They have such a great winning mentality and it is infectious. England have a talented bunch of boys at that level but I am just delighted to see four of our lads in that group.
“It could have been more had Dominic Calvert-Lewin had been fit and Ademola Lookman only missed out with a little injury at the back end of the season. So it could – and should – have been more which is absolutely wonderful to see. We are very proud and I’m sure every Evertonian is as well.”
While England came from behind to beat their Mexican counterparts, there was disappointment for their Blues teammate Fraser Hornby.
The towering striker had enjoyed a good tournament with Scotland but sadly fellow losing semi-finalists Turkey edged them on penalties in the third place play-off.
Nevertheless, Unsworth has backed Hornby – like fellow youngsters with England – to take plenty from the experience.
“Fraser had a good tournament,” he added. “I watched his games as well. It was tough when England played Scotland because we want him to do well but we have to be patriotic too! But I was delighted for him to play so well.
“For him at his age to be leading the line for Scotland’s Under-21s is terrific. Fraser has come a long, long way in a very short space of time. There is lots and lots of work still do with him but that is work he will get done. We have really high hopes for him and we will give him every opportunity to showcase the talent that we think he has got.
“He can be really proud of his tournament as well.
“I have already been onto all the lads, congratulating them. These boys are top talents and we know we have got to be patient with them. But we will give them every opportunity to succeed.”