Wayne Rooney is ready to realise a lifelong dream of playing for Everton in Europe on what he expects will be an "emotional" second debut for the club.
The summer recruit headed back down the M62 to rejoin his boyhood team from Manchester United after 13 years away, and has been revitalised by the move back to Goodison Park so far in the Toffees' pre-season games.
Rooney is now set to make his second competitive senior bow for the Blues in Thursday's Europa League third round qualifying first-leg match against MFK Ruzomberok and, speaking to Everton's official site, the striker described how winning the trophy would be a greater accomplishment with Ronald Koeman's men than with the Red Devils.
He said: “Something I always wanted to do was play in Europe with Everton. I was a bit disappointed not to do that before but now I’ll have a chance.
"Obviously I won the trophy last year so I’m hoping as a club we can go far and, you never know, try to win it. It would be even better.
“The first game back will be an emotional day for me and I’m looking forward to it. Overall, I’m looking forward to the season, hopefully getting back playing regularly and trying to help this club move forward.”
Rooney has already notched two goals in three pre-season outings since his return to L4, and Evertonians are eagerly anticipating seeing him take to the turf in the royal blue jersey once more.
With a sell-out crowd descending on Goodison for the clash with Slovakian outfit Ruzomberok, Rooney also admitted that the occasion would prove to be one filled with every conceivable emotion for him when he steps out from the tunnel to the tune of 'Z Cars' again.
He added: “You always get that feeling when you’re walking out the tunnel so to actually do it again in an Everton shirt will be a special moment for me.
“It’s always been a special place to come and play, even when I’ve been on the opposing side.
“It’s been a positive start back here. It’s great that we got so many players in early as we’ve been able to work together for nearly a month before the first game, get to know each other and how everyone plays. It’s great to see and great to be a part of.”