BEN GODFREY has attributed his England Under-21 call-up to “hard work and consistency” - and says more of the same will be needed for the Young Lions to progress.

The former York City defender is hoping to be included today (2pm) when England kick off their U21 European Championship campaign against Switzerland in Slovenia.

Godfrey - who captained the U21s on his full debut in 2019 - has collected plaudits week on week for his performances at club side Everton this season.

Asked what he credits the call-up to, he said: “Hard work and consistency. There’s a lot of players to choose from around the country. We’ve got a lot of talent.

“It’s a massive honour and it encourages me to keep working hard and keep trying to improve my game. It’s always a proud moment to get called up for your country. It never gets boring putting on the England shirt.

“All my friends and family are over the moon. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Joining him in the squad is a host of talent, including team-mate Tom Davies and former colleague Max Aarons of Norwich City, as well as players like Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood and Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi.

They will be looking to see England through a group stage which features Switzerland, Portugal and Croatia.

“We’ve got some difficult games ahead of us so we’ve got to be on it if we’re going to progress in the tournament,” Godfrey said.

“Without a doubt, the squad’s got more than enough quality and talent to make it through but you know how tournaments are - sometimes things don’t go your way or you don’t turn up on the day and other teams have it in them to punish you.

“We’ve got to be at it 100 per cent, be focused and work hard. We’ve definitely got the quality. We just need to make sure we apply ourselves properly throughout.”