AS seasons go, it certainly hasn’t been a bad one for Leon Osman.
An integral part of an Everton side that is once again challenging for Champions League qualification, Osman’s consistently impressive form was rewarded with an England debut.
For many, it was recognition that had been a long time coming, his performance in the November friendly defeat against Sweden enough to play himself into national team coach Roy Hodgson’s immediate plans.
But as he celebrates a decade as an Everton player in Saturday’s Premier League visit of Swansea City, there remains one overriding goal for the 31-year-old.
To win a trophy.
Not since lifting the FA Youth Cup back in 1998 has Osman got his hands on silverware.
The decision of David Moyes to field a strong starting line-up for last Monday’s FA Cup third round romp at Cheltenham Town sent out a significant statement of intent that Everton are serious in their attempts to end a trophy drought that stretches back to 1995.
There have been flirtations under Moyes.
Osman was part of the Everton team that were beaten in the 2009 FA Cup final against Chelsea and lost to neighbours Liverpool in the semi-final last season.
And having come so close previously, the desire to win silverware is burning more than ever inside the 31-year-old.
“It is getting greater,” says Osman, a scorer at Whaddon Road. “You can’t play forever, so it’s something I’m desperately hungry to achieve – to win a trophy at this club, for this club, for the fans and myself.
“I want to be a part of that and although I wouldn’t like to say time’s running out I’m not getting any younger and I need to achieve it sooner rather than later.
“You’d rather get closer than further away and we’ve been developing as a team and are finding a way to win games now. We drew a lot at the start of the season but we’re finding a way to get the wins now which should put us in good stead.
“The test will be if we can sustain it. In the past we’ve managed it for the second half of the season but we’ve had a reasonably good start to the second part of the season and hopefully we can maintain it.
“We hope we have the depth to do it. We’ll need to have some luck in keeping our key players injury free.”
Osman will make his 357th appearance for Everton this weekend, a Goodison career that took time to take off with the Billinge-born player’s development hampered by a serious knee injury suffered after the Youth Cup success.