Ben Godfrey is plotting further upwards progress on his steep learning curve ahead of the defender’s first full season with Everton.
The serially impressive Godfrey played 36 times after joining from Norwich City last October and was crowned Everton’s Young Player of the Season following a succession of accomplished performances.
He gained senior international recognition, too, featuring in two friendly fixtures for England prior to this summer’s European Championship finals.
Godfrey has zipped up the football ladder, journeying from York City to Everton, via Norwich City and a productive loan with Shrewsbury Town, inside a five-year period.
And following the appointment of Rafa Benitez as Everton manager last month, Godfrey has an experienced and successful figure to help shape the next key phase in his burgeoning career.
“He is another manager whose football CV doesn’t lie,” Godfrey told evertontv.
“He has been in every situation you could imagine… and his knowledge of the game is unbelievable.
“We haven’t been back for long but pre-season has been about getting his ideas across and the way he likes to play.
“We have been soaking that up and trying to put his ideas onto the pitch.
“I have loved working with him and it is going to be very beneficial, especially for us younger players, to have someone like the boss around us and helping us learn.
“It is massive for us.
“He is someone I want to learn from.
“Hopefully that journey keeps going up and up.
“I know football doesn’t always go that way, so it’s important I put in the hard work and learn from people like the boss and, hopefully, it continues to do that.”
Godfrey had a four-week break between playing 90 minutes in England’s 1-0 win over Romania and reporting back to USM Finch Farm on 5 July.
Initial preparations for the new campaign, disclosed the player, have featured plenty of tactical instruction – delivered both one-to-one and to the entire playing staff – as Benitez begins the process of bedding in his methods.
“He is very clear on what he wants from you, there is no misunderstanding and you know your job,” said Godfrey.
“That is hugely important in football.
“He is going to do all he can to get this club where we all want it to be.
“Managers are all different, it might not be drastic changes but little things do make the difference.
“I can’t give away too much tactically but he does have his differences from previous managers we’ve all had.
"We'd have a game where we were expected to pick up points but didn’t.
“It is that consistency [we need to improve].
“And particularly home form, we let some points slip away from us at Goodison.
“It would be nice to fix that and make Goodison a fortress again.
“If we can achieve that consistency, I can’t make promises, but I hope it will help us get where we want to be.”
On what he wants to finesse personally, Godfrey added: “There is a lot.
“My all-round game has to improve, you are never perfect.
"I have so much more learning and hard work to do.
“I will keep striving to improve everything."