I am settling in well to my loan spell at Preston and all the lads have been welcoming since I came through the door the day before the Cardiff game.
Whenever a new player joined at Everton, I liked to make them feel as welcome as possible because it is daunting joining a new club at whatever stage your career is at.
I knew a couple of the lads already – Aiden McGeady is also on loan on Everton, while Jermaine Beckford was at Everton when I was younger.
There were a few times when I was coming through the system at Everton that I trained with the first team and got the chance to train with Becks.
One thing I’m getting used to is the journey here from Liverpool in the morning.
The first part of it is fine but once I hit the Preston traffic, the last few miles seem to take forever.
There is a big difference between football in the Championship and playing Under-23s which I’d been doing at Everton since coming back from my injury.
It is a lot more intense, a lot more physical and a lot more aggressive.
David Unsworth and Joe Royle from Everton came to watch me at Barnsley last week and it probably wasn’t the best game of football to choose, it was scrappy.
From my point of view though, it was nice to be part of a defence which kept a clean sheet.
Barnsley had Gethin Jones in their defence who is also on loan from Everton, so I managed to get a chat with him afterwards.
I’ve been associated with Everton since I was 10 years old. I was quite a late starter when it came to football, I’d only been playing for eight months before I signed for Everton.
I got a pair of football boots for my birthday, started playing with a junior team on a Sunday and it was from there that Everton showed their interest.
I used to train at Bellefield a couple of times a week after school and the older I got, the more training you did.
After leaving school at 16 I started full-time there with the youth team.
David Moyes was the manager at the time and there was a season when I would train with the first-team squad on and off.
I came through a bit more when Roberto Martinez took over from Moyes, and it was Martinez who gave me my first-team chance.
Last summer, Ronald Koeman took over and it was difficult for me because I was coming back from injury.
I missed pre-season and other people were getting ahead of me to show what they were capable of.
That is why I needed to go out on loan to get games and I’m grateful that Preston showed their interest.
The injury I had was to my knee and was the same thing which both Jordan Hugill and Becks have had here.
There was damage to my cartilage which was repaired by micro-fracturing – that is where holes are drilled into the cartilage, they bleed and the scabs repair where the tear was.
I initially did it playing in a game against Blackburn.
About that time I got an England Under-21s call-up so I rushed back for that.
In my first session with England, I damaged it again and it went properly. The physios told me it would have gone anyway at some stage.
That was in the autumn of 2015 and I got back fully fit last October/November. I was fortunate enough to have made my Everton debut in the Premier League in 2014 and it came as a sub in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield.
I was nervous as anything – it is the game everyone in the city watches.
My little brother was in the crowd and a lot of my friends were watching.
I’d been on the bench a few times without getting on in the weeks before. During the second half, the gaffer turned round and said, ‘Get warmed-up’.
It took me a few moments to realise he meant me.
I went on for the last 20 minutes at right-back in place of Tony Hibbert.
We were 1-0 down and I had Raheem Sterling against me down that side.
Sterling was right on top of his game at the time and I was probably put on as a fresh pair of legs against him. Phil Jagielka volleyed a superb equaliser in the 90th minute and I remember doing a little run to celebrate.
My next game came a week later at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
I had warmed up for all the first half and then a lot of the second, before going on for the last 15 minutes.
A few weeks later, I got my first start in a Europa League cup game, so that was a big moment.