Sheffield United: David Brooks impresses Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

David Brooks has impressed Chris Wilder during pre-season. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
David Brooks has impressed Chris Wilder during pre-season. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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He still has a long to go before being considered for a regular starting role but David Brooks, Sheffield United’s teenage midfielder, is making a positive impression behind the scenes.

Brooks, the latest player to roll of the Steelphalt Academy production line, could make his third pre-season appearance at Grimsby Town today after being namechecked by Chris Wilder in midweek.

George Long will play at Blundell Park, manager Chris Wilder has said 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

George Long will play at Blundell Park, manager Chris Wilder has said �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

With United’s new manager confirming he plans to draw on United’s youth programme during the forthcoming League One campaign - “providing the lads show they’re good enough” - Brooks’ performance will be monitored closely by coaching staff following an encouraging cameo against FC Halifax Town on Tuesday.

“Brooksy came in and did well,” Wilder said. “He’s a promising young player.

“There’s still lots for him to learn, as you would expect, but he’s doing well and that has to continue.”

Wilder’s decision to highlight Brooks following United’s 2-0 defeat was significant given that, after criticising their display, he refused to mention any other member of the visitors’ squad. But, describing the fact United had picked-up no fresh injuries as “probably the only bonus” of the evening, Wilder did confirm that George Long will feature against last season’s National League play-off final winners. The goalkepeer has failed to appear in any of United’s warm-up fixtures so far this summer. and, despite training fully, Wilder will welcome Long’s return as he attempts to establish clear lines of communication among a remodelled defence.

David Brooks will also travel to Grimsby Town 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

David Brooks will also travel to Grimsby Town �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

“George will play on Saturday,” Wilder said. “He probably could have played (against FC Halifax) but we just wanted to give him a little bit more time. Just to make sure he’s right.”

Grimsby are set to be without Rhys Browne (hamstring) and Zak Mills (knee) for the meeting with United. (Kick-off 3pm).

Aaron Ramsdale has deputised for George Long during Sheffield United's first three pre-season games. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Aaron Ramsdale has deputised for George Long during Sheffield United's first three pre-season games. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage