Wayne Rooney wants Everton minutes ahead of Europa League
By James Dale
Last Updated: 14/07/17 2:15pm
Wayne Rooney urged Everton to get up to speed in pre-season to prepare for their Europa League qualifier this month.
The England captain marked his return to his boyhood club with a stunning 30-yard goal in the Toffees' victory over Kenyan opponents Gor Mahia in a friendly on Wednesday, playing 45 minutes of the 2-1 win.
Rooney, making his first appearance just four days after re-signing for the club, has already set sights on what could be his first competitive game for Everton since his comeback - with the Toffees having learned they will face Ruzomberok (Slovakia) or Brann (Norway) in the Europa League third qualifying round.
"There's things we can do better, but the most important thing is minutes under the belt," Rooney told EvertonTV after his goalscoring return.
"We'll look forward to them and make sure we are right for the qualifier."
Rooney's spectacular strike was reminiscent of his memorable first Premier League goal in 2002 when - aged just 16 - he curled in a late winner against Arsenal to announce himself in the top flight.
Assessing Rooney's return
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While the 31-year-old was pleased to get straight back on the scoresheet for Everton, Rooney reiterated fitness remains his primary concern.
"We all want to show our qualities and help the team," he added.
"It was great, first game back, to get a goal. I was delighted with it.
"It's always important that we win the game, but the most important thing was we all got 45 minutes under our belts."