Ellis Simms believes the intense fitness training he has undertaken in La Manga can help him make a successful transition to Everton’s Under-23 team this season.
Simms has linked up with manager David Unsworth and his squad for a pre-season training camp in Spain.
The powerhouse striker enjoyed a remarkable goalscoring campaign for Paul Tait’s Under-18s last term, netting 46 times in all competitions.
The 18-year-old, who joined the Blues from Manchester City two years ago, saw his exceptional form rewarded as he signed a first professional contract with Everton in May.
Simms is now hungry make the next important step in his career as he bids to fight his way into Unsworth’s double-winning side.
He admits the volume of fitness work the squad have got through during their rigorous programme in La Manga has been taxing.
The Oldham-born youngster is convinced, though, he will reap the rewards from the hard graft when the 2019/20 campaign gets under way in August.
“The running has been very hard at times, but it’s all very beneficial to my game,” Simms told evertontv. “It’s been a good trip so far. It’s been difficult at times, but we’ve managed to come through it together.
“We’ve been doing a few sessions every day. We’ve been going for a run at eight o’clock in the morning, and we’ve been training twice as well. But it’s all going to help us become better players.
“When the season starts, I’ll be able to last longer, work harder, and then you’ll get more chances to score goals.
“I know it’s going to be harder with the Under-23s because it’s more physical, but I want to score and help the team. That’s my priority.”
Simms counts Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and deadly Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero among the players he most admires.
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BEHIND THE SCENES WITH UNDER-23S IN LA MANGA
The talented attacker insists he is eager to shape his own style, however. He credited the expert coaching at Everton for strengthening his all-round game and boosting the number of weapons in his armoury.
“I can be a target man at times, but also, I’m ready to run in behind,” he said. “I like to work on my weaknesses, so I can be comfortable in all aspects of the game.
“Ever since I joined Everton, the coaches have helped me a lot - doing finishing drills and working on my heading and my weaker foot.
“So, in a game, if chances fall on my left foot or in the air, I’ll feel more comfortable taking it.
“It’s all about working on my weaknesses and making them my strengths.”