Former Sheffield United player Rob Page excited by what another Wales ex-Blade will do at Euro 2020

Wales manager Rob Page says he can’t wait to see what David Brooks shows the world as the two former Sheffield United players prepare for the country’s second successive European Championships.

By Chris Holt
Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:11 pm

The Dragons have the third youngest squad in Euro 2020 – one that includes current Blade Rhys Norrington-Davies – bringing with it a sense of excitement to the camp and while Page is looking forward to seeing the young Wales players shine on the biggest of stages, there’s one in particular he’s keeping an eye on.

After bursting onto the scene at Sheffield United, David Brooks blossomed with Bournemouth in the Premier League in his first top-flight season before being struck down by a series of injuries which found him unable to help the Cherries avoid the drop.

Still not yet reached the 20-cap mark for his country as a result, Brooks should be firing to make up for lost time in a Wales jersey.

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Wales' interim head coach Rob Page applauds the fans at the end of the international friendly football match between Wales and Albania at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, South Wales, on June 5, 2021. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)

“I am really excited for Brooksy,” said Page who remains based in Sheffield having finished his playing career at Chesterfield. “Some of the things he does in training just puts a smile on your face and I want the supporters to see that.

“It’s been a frustrating couple of years for him.

“But having a fit David Brooks is beneficial to us and we will get him on the grass as much as we can.”

The youthful look to the squad is being helped along by a few stalwarts of the previous Euros campaign where Wales reached the semi-final before losing to eventual champions Portugal.

Wales' David Brooks in action against Albania at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Skipper Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Chris Gunter, Danny Ward, Joe Allen, Jonny Williams and Wayne Hennessey are all there to give the likes of Norrington-Davies a knowing nod to what lies ahead.

Sixteen players have 20 caps or less, five have under 10 appearances and Cardiff’ Rubin Colwill made his debut against France last week.

“We’ve got young, ambitious and hungry players coming into the squad that want their jerseys,” Page said. “Nobody can rest on what they’ve done before.

“There’s a good blend and on top of that they’re good characters.

“I liken it to a club environment and that is hard to achieve when you’ve only got them for sporadic moments throughout the year.”

He added: “There’s absolutely no fear with youngsters. You’ve seen that with Rubin, he belongs here.

“Look at Joe Morrell’s performance against France. He was like ‘give me the ball’, he wanted to be the best player on the pitch.

“We’ve got hungry players like that. It’s not just about having talented footballers.

“It’s about the right characters as well and all our players have got that.”