ROSS BARKLEY believes he is ready to make an impact for Everton next season – after David Moyes’ careful nurturing has helped him feel fitter than ever.
The talented 18-year-old midfielder was able to get crucial playing time under his belt last term, for the first team, reserves and under-18s.
And even though his stint in Premier League games was brief, Barkley knows the chance to get experience under his belt away from the lime light has done him good.
He said: “I have had a full season of playing – as I have been injured for three seasons before that – and I feel much better and fitter so hopefully next year I can push on.
“This year I learnt that working hard gets you places. I worked really hard to get over my injury and get fit and that really paid off at the beginning of the season.”
The highly-rated youngster was given the Keith Tamlin Award at the Academy’s end of season prize-giving in recognition of his progress, and admits it was a whirlwind campaign for him.
“I think the season has been a successful one for me because I have made my Everton debut and also my debut for England Under-21s,” he said. “I have had little injuries but have mainly been fit all season and have caught up a bit with some of what I had missed.”
And Barkley still has not forgotten how proud he felt making his Everton bow, on the first day of last season against QPR.
It was the first of nine senior appearances last term, and Barkley is relishing the prospect of trying to add more to that tally next season.
“I had actually dreamt about it beforehand”, he said. “So it was the best feeling and hopefully when I score a goal it will be even better.
“Next season hopefully I can play more and break through and hopefully score a few as well. I am really looking forward to next season and staying fit, staying strong and working hard.”