United’s Cook aims to taste more Euro success

Leeds United's Lewis Cook
Leeds United's Lewis Cook
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LEEDS UNITED midfielder Lewis Cook is hoping to enjoy a second summer of European success after stepping up from Under-17 to Under-19 level with England.

Cook helped England to glory at last May’s European Under-17s Championships in Malta when they beat Holland on penalties.

He is currently in France with England’s Under-19s squad ahead of their trio of European Championship Elite Round qualifiers against the host nation, Denmark and Azerbaijan.

England start out with a game against the Danes tomorrow-time (5pm) in the Stade Henry Jeanne in Bayeaux.

Their prize, should they come out top after three matches, will be a place at the European Championships in Greece this July.

Cook, who turned 18 in early February, has made 38 appearances for Leeds since August. He joined up with the England party after playing three games in a week for United.

His club manager Neil Redfearn has spoken with England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate about managing the game time of Cook and also his Elland ERoad team-mateAlex Mowatt, who is on Under-20 duty during the international break.

Cook has had a hectic first campaign of regular first-team football, which he feels has benefited him massively and he is excited by testing himself further following his step up to a higher international level.

He said: “It’s been good for me personally this season in playing a lot of games.

“Coming back to England is different to the Championship. There’s a lot of technical and really good players there and you have to step up to the plate and adapt to the different type of football at international level.

“It’s the first time I have been involved with the Under-19s, and from the first training sessions I have been involved in I can see the staff and the players here are really good.”

After tomorrow’s game with the Danes, the Under-19s, coached by former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll, will take on Azerbaijan in Bayeaux on Saturday (5.30pm) before playing France at the Stade Louis Villemer, Saint-Lo on Tuesday (6pm).

England Under-20s, managed by ex-Leeds first-team coach Aidy Boothroyd, play a friendly tonight against Mexico at Barnet FC (7.45pm) when Doncaster-born Mowatt could make his bow at this level.

They will play another friendly on Sunday against the USA at Home Park, Plymouth (3pm).