Jack Rodwell has acclaimed the new wave of England players who have made the transition from the Under-21s to the senior side.
Rodwell, 20, made his first start under Fabio Capello in Tuesday's 1-0 win over Sweden and the England manager singled out the Everton midfielder as a "really interesting" player among a wealth of options for Euro 2012.
Starting alongside Rodwell were Phil Jones and Kyle Walker, with Daniel Sturridge also making his full debut as a second-half substitute and, with Jack Wilshire set to return in the New Year, the Everton player has praised the new batch of young stars coming through the ranks.
"It was a dream come true to step on the pitch against Spain [last Saturday]. It was my full debut. If I can stay in and around the squad I'm happy," said Rodwell.
"We've had a good bond for a couple of years [the Under-21 players]. All of the lads have welcomed me in the seniors.
"I know a few of the lads from Everton. As soon as I stepped through the door I have felt comfortable."
Rodwell is one of a number of young players who will hope to make Capello's 23-man squad for next summer's tournament in Poland and Ukraine, but the midfielder is under no illusions as to the competition for places.
"The competition is healthy," he added. "There are a lot of promising youngsters and hopefully we can keep pushing.
"If you are good enough you should play. No matter what age, I think the manager will see the quality of the player and will go from there.
"I'm just going to keep my feet on the ground, keep working hard and trying to play as well as I can for Everton and see what happens."
On Tuesday, Rodwell impressed alongside Jones and Gareth Barry in a revamped midfield. The 20-year-old linked up capably with Bobby Zamora and came close to scoring when a first-half header hit the post.
"Personally I felt like I did OK," Rodwell said. "I'm pleased with my performance. I got into good positions. I felt like I should have scored the header.
"Nine times out of 10 times I'll put it in the back of the net but I'll take the positive that I got in the right position.
"With Phil Jones sitting, the manager asked me and Gareth Barry to get forward and get into the box. I got on the end of a couple of crosses."