Jake Bidwell is hoping to put his Wembley disappointment behind him by making a quick impression on Everton’s new manager.
The defender’s season-long loan at Brentford ended painfully on Sunday as the Bees suffered a League One play-off final defeat to unfancied Yeovil Town.
Despite the blow, the 20-year-old left-back, who also spent the entire 2011/12 campaign at Griffin Park, feels he has become a better player than the one that first departed Goodison Park two summers ago.
Now facing the next step in his fledgling career, Bidwell understands the onus is on Everton’s younger players to capture the attention of whoever replaces the outgoing David Moyes.
“Whoever it is, it’s a level playing field for us younger ones,” said the Southport-born starlet.
“Hopefully whoever comes in will give a chance for everyone to show what they can do and I wouldn’t be surprised to see two or three players knocking on the first-team door next season.
“It’s only you who can do that yourself though. It’s a new opportunity for everyone, you’ve just got to get your head down and try and show them what you can do the best you can.”
With Luke Garbutt a direct rival to be a back-up to Leighton Baines, Bidwell equally knows it may take another loan spell to realise a more immediate desire for first-team football.
If so, he will aim to journey up the leagues and build on the valuable lessons he learned in two seasons playing in the third tier.
“I’m definitely a better player for the last year or so,” he said. “I’ve said before, I think the next step up from reserve team or Under-21 football is to go and play in the Football League. Hopefully I’ve shown I can handle it in this league over this season and last season.
“Obviously the next step then is the Championship or the Premier League, so I’ll just keep looking to improve myself and see what happens at the start of next season.”