YORK-BORN Premier League star Ben Godfrey has said he is keen on the prospect of being a leader ahead of his latest link-up with the England Under-21s.

Godfrey is part of a 23-strong squad heading out to Slovenia next week to contest the group stages of the U21 European Championship.

Though already 23 years old, Godfrey is eligible to turn out for the U21s because he was 21 when the two-year campaign building up to this competition began.

As a result, Godfrey carries the responsibility of being one of the more senior members of the squad.

But responsibility is not something the versatile defender has ever shied away from - indeed, he accepted the Norwich City captain's armband as a 21-year-old in the Premier League during an injury crisis at the Canaries.

"There are four or five of us in the 1998 year with this squad. You are sort of regarded as a senior player in the team. It is important that you set good standards and you keep those high," Godfrey said.

"You've got young lads in there as well - there are 18, 19-year-olds and if us older lads can set a good example, make sure everything's running smoothly and they're settling in, it's a good role to have.

"It's the kind of role I enjoy doing and when I look ahead into my career, I want to have that responsibility on my shoulders as being a leader and being a captain."

England kick off their group stage against Switzerland next Thursday - but before he heads out on international duty, Godfrey will be hoping to be involved in current club Everton's bid to reach the FA Cup semi-finals today when they host runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

"It's obviously a massive task playing against a very strong team in Man City but we've got to be confident in our ability, back ourselves and we've got to be confident we can turn them over and get to the semi-final," he said.

"That would be massive for us as players and huge for the club."