Luke Garbutt: England U20’s World Cup Diary

    Luke Garbutt is the latest Everton young gun to provide an update from Turkey where England are preparing for the start of the Under-20s World Cup.

    Left-back Garbutt took the number of Blues in the Young Lions squad to an impressive five after receiving a late call-up last week.

    He talks the official Everton site through what was a whirlwind few days…

    I was on holiday in Ibiza with a couple of my Everton teammates when I got the call from Peter Taylor last week.

    He wanted to call me into the squad because one of the lads [Sam Byram] had been forced to pull out through injury. I told him that I would be more than willing to join up with the boys because I knew what a great opportunity this is.

    Peter had already phoned to say that there could be a few injury doubts and if anyone did get injured in defence then I would be getting the call. I obviously kept that in my mind but I didn’t honestly think I would get the chance. Once I did though I was buzzing because it’s not often that you get picked for a World Cup. I’m going to cherish this moment, give it my best shot and enjoy it.

    It’s even more pleasing to get this opportunity because, from a personal point of view, last season was tough for me. I was a bit rusty when I came back from my injury at the start of the year but I slowly managed to get back into it. I still don’t think I have reached top form yet but I think that will come with the more games I can play.

    So I got the call on Tuesday, flew home on Wednesday and then got straight back on a plane to Turkey on Thursday. It was a hectic few days!

    When I got here, I wasn’t nervous. It was excitement more than anything. I have played with England at almost every different junior age group so being part of a squad wasn’t anything new to me. I’ve played in a couple of European Championships before so this is just the next level up.

    I hadn’t done any football training for two weeks so it was a bit of a shock at first, especially with the heat, but I feel as though I acclimatised quite quickly once I met up with the squad.

    To be fair, we have been training really hard. The manager has pushed us so that we are used to the conditions and are playing at a high tempo in readiness for the tournament.

    We got a run-out last night against Uruguay and it was good for everyone to get at least 45 minutes and win the game 3-0. I played the first half and I thought that I did okay considering that I had just linked up with the squad. Chris [Long] took his goal well so all the lads are pleased for him.

    Today [Monday] has been a day off. We’ve been chilling out around the hotel and have managed to get a bit of sun on our backs. We’ll be back training tomorrow with a double session because the first game is less than a week away.

    We just need to keep working hard now and hopefully that pays off because I think we have a good chance to go far in this tournament. We have got a set of honest, hardworking lads and, on the pitch, there is a lot of quality in the final third.

    We are all looking forward to the start of the tournament now.


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