Sheffield United: How the boss gave a Young Lion real bite

David Brooks (centre) with Chris Wilder and assistant manager Alan Knill (left) at Sheffield United's title celebration: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
David Brooks (centre) with Chris Wilder and assistant manager Alan Knill (left) at Sheffield United's title celebration: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder has been credited with turning David Brooks into an international footballer after the Sheffield United midfielder was named in the England squad for this summer’s Toulon Tournament.

Brooks, a graduate of the Steelphalt Academy, spend much of last season working with the club’s senior players after impressing at Professional Development League level.

David Brooks in action for Sheffield United last season. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

David Brooks in action for Sheffield United last season. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Travis Binnion, United’s academy manager, last night cited that experience as a major factor behind his call-up by Young Lions coach Neil Dewsnip. Regan Slater, Brooks’ team mate at Bramall Lane, has been placed on stand-by for the U20’s competition which begins later this month.

“David has always been a talent but now he’s got that drive and sheer will-to-win which the gaffer demands of his players,” Binnion said. “That’s come from training with him, his staff and the rest of the lads too.

“When he came to us, after leaving Manchester City, we gave him the opportunity to develop and also to play football which, to be fair, he’s probably not really had there. But he’s the gaffer’s player really now. He just comes back to us if he plays for the under-23’s.”

Brooks is scheduled to spend next season with Chesterfield after joining Gary Caldwell’s side as part of the deal which saw Ched Evans return to Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United's academy manager Travis Binnion
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Sheffield United's academy manager Travis Binnion �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Rhys Norrington-Davies has withdrawn from the Wales squad which visits France as the tournament clashes with his A-Level exams

Meanwhile, Daniel Lafferty has been selected for a Northern Ireland training camp designed as preparation for next month’s World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan.