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Everton youngster Stones inspired by team-mate Barkley

Everton defender John Stones will use Ross Barkley's inclusion in the England squad as an inspiration to him. "Of course it is a big inspiration for me when Ross is making the first team and getting picked for England," said Stones.

"He is hitting the ground running for Everton. I really want to do the same as Ross.

"I am always trying to push for a first-team position, as is everyone in the dressing room. It is healthy competition.

"I want to cement a spot in the first team, to keep pushing as hard as I can all season until I get there. That is my big aim."

Stones is delighted to have been given the chance to play for Everton in some high-profile pre-season matches and is keen to establish himself in Roberto Martinez's plans.

"To get that first game in pre-season was a big help for me, getting on and playing against Juventus, and then the likes of Real Madrid and Valencia," he added.

"It was a great experience for me and made me feel like I had hit the ground running.

"Coming into such a big dressing room, the lads have taken to me so well and I am so thankful for that.

"Hopefully I can get a few more games now."

About the author

Dave Williams

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