One goal, two assists and a performance which prompted England’s official observer to describe him as “the star of the show”; Sheffield United’s David Brooks made a huge impression on his international full debut.
But Travis Binnion, the coach who knows him best, has insisted the teenage midfielder will not be satisfied with his display for the Young Lions during Thursday’s resounding victory over Cuba at the Toulon Tournament.
“Brooksy has got that attitude whereby he always wants to improve,” Binnion, the manager of United’s Steelphalt Academy youth programme, told The Star. “He doesn’t want to stand still or rest on his laurels.
“That real desire to win, to go out there and do whatever it takes, is often what separates those who make it from those who don’t. And that’s something he’s really developed since coming to us.”
Brooks, aged 19, won his first cap as a second-half substitute during last week’s Group A tie against Angola before, 72 hours later, starting the meeting with the Leones del Caribe. Repaying Neil Dewsnip’s faith, the midfielder forced two saves during the opening exchanges before creating efforts for Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes, George Hirst and scoring one himself. Brooks, who will spend next season on loan at Chesterfield, was also responsible for winning the penalty which allowed Hirst, of Sheffield Wednesday, to claim a hat-trick during the 7-1 triumph.
Dewsnip, whose squad have already qualified for the semi-finals ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Japan, said: “We have a strange group, a mixture of some of U20’s, some of U19’s and maybe the half of U18’s boys, so we had a very short period of time to prepare, to get to know one to another which we’ve done I think quite well. Winning these first two games is lovely and it helps in that respect.”
Binnion, speaking before Brooks’ call-up for the competition in France, attributed his rapid progress in recent months to the time he spent working with United’s first team players last season.
“He’s really the manager’s player now,” Binnion said. “Chris (Wilder) got him training with the senior squad and he comes back to us every now and then for games. You can see the difference in him because that hunger Chris demands from all his team has rubbed off on him.”