Ben Godfrey’s hunger to bring silverware to Everton is matched by a personal desire to improve on two previous Wembley visits.
Defender Godfrey is preparing for Everton’s FA Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, when the prize on offer is a home fifth-round tie with either Wycombe Wanderers or Tottenham Hotspur.
The 23-year-old played every minute of his team’s past nine Premier League games and started and finished the Cup victory over Rotherham United a fortnight ago.
Everton claimed 19 points from those top-flight matches and are juggling European ambitions with their FA Cup pursuit.
Godfrey is refusing to prioritise either objective, preferring to go all out for both – but a visit to the national stadium in May would double up as an opportunity to create happier memories than those of EFL Trophy and League One play-off final defeats with loan club Shrewsbury Town in 2018.
“Everton is a massive club and we are working hard every day and in every game to try to put a trophy in the cabinet,” said Godfrey.
“We know what it would mean to the fans and to us… to do something really special we can all enjoy.
“Champions League football, for players and clubs, is the pinnacle of the sport.
“To be involved is massive.
“But every football player values any trophy and medal.
“When you retire – I hear this so much from my old coaches and retired players – that is essentially the only thing you have with you: your medals in your cabinet to go with your memories.
“It [a medal] is something no one can take away from you.
“I have two memories of Wembley but I’ve not walked up the stairs to lift anything yet.
“It is an unbelievable day for the players and club and everyone’s families and I am looking forward to the next time I’m there.
“Everyone wants to get their hands on silverware.”
Godfrey admits to an element of surprise over his express start at Goodison Park following a transfer from Norwich City back in October.
A centre-half by nature, Godfrey, who made his Everton debut as a first-half substitute in a home Merseyside derby, has played most of his football for the Club deputising for Lucas Digne at left-back.
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He’s not put a foot wrong, winning rave reviews for his disciplined and combative defending, neatly illustrated when executing a shuddering, well-timed challenge on midfielder Dani Ceballos during the win over Arsenal last month.
Godfrey spoke extensively to Everton’s matchday programme for Rotherham’s visit about his attitude to tackling and has outlined why his “football morals” fit with the Club’s identity.
The Yorkshireman, an England Under-21 international, admits to a feeling of gratitude over his playing opportunities since joining – and is ready to continue employing his versatility to aid Everton’s twin push this term.
“I didn’t sign for Everton and think I’d instantly be in the starting XI,” said Godfrey.
“With the pathway I’ve had and the jump essentially from the Championship to a massive club like this – you can’t expect to walk into the team.
“My mindset from walking through the door was that I would chip away and work until I became a regular.
“I am so grateful to play the number of games I have in this period of time.
“It is a learning curve and I am enjoying it.
“I am lucky I have attributes where, if needs be, I can slip into other positions.
“I saw myself playing centre-back throughout the majority of my career but a manager might come to you and say, ‘I think you can go further in another position’.
“That’s where you have to trust your manager.
“Carlo’s CV is unbelievable and you trust in everything he does and says.
“He has stressed to me that some of the best centre-backs ever played in other positions when they were younger and it can only help me learn.
“That is what I am trying to do and if I do return to centre-back my experiences at left-back and right-back will make me a better player.”