LEWIS COOK is eyeing another choice entry into his burgeoning football CV with England Under-19s tonight – having been hailed as an “immense talent” by Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn.
The United midfielder is hoping to play a leading role in helping Sean O’Driscoll’s Under-19s qualify for this summer’s European Championships in Greece at the expense of France in a winner-takes-all clash (7pm).
Both nations have won their previous two Elite Round qualifying matches ahead of this evening’s decider in Saint-Lo, with Cook making his debut in the 1-0 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday.
Cook and his international team-mates visited the beach at Arromanches in northern France on Sunday – scene of some of the D-Day landings during the Second World War – ahead of today’s footballing mission and
Redfearn believes that the 18-year-old is not only a prodigiously-talented player, but also a special person as well.
On talented Cook, who playing a key role in England Under-17s’ European
Championships triumph in Malta last May, Redfearn said: “Lewis is a one-off. You see him around the building and he is just like another scholar.
“He is still doing his jobs and still takes the mannequins in and out and still knocks on my door in the morning and says: ‘How many mannequins do you need?’
“I look at him and think: ‘You are one of my best players!’
“But he is such a likeable and level headed kid and grounded. He does not take anything for granted or expect anything.
“I think that is the beauty of him and he’s so driven.
“We also look past the fact that he’s got ability and he’s going to be an immense talent in years to come.”
Leeds United’s development squad succumbed to a late goal in a 2-1 loss at Swansea City last night.
A cool chip from Brian Montenegro on the hour broke the deadlock for United after the striker profited from a defensive error from the hosts.
But the Swans levelled on 67 minutes when Ross Killock put through his own net and the home side forced an 86-minute winner when sub Stephen Fallon tapped home a cross from James Loveridge.
United: Cairns, Coyle, Killock, Skelton, Denton, Dawson, Purver, Phillips, Montenegro, Parkin (Lyman 83), Mulhern (McDaid 83). Not used: Grimes, Coker.