David Brooks reveals Welsh debt to Rob Page over controversial England call-up

David Brooks admits he is indebted to Wales boss Rob Page for not disowning him when he represented England as a teenager.

Brooks is now plotting to dump the Three Lions out of the Euros in return as Wales eye another run to the semi-finals.

Bournemouth winger Brooks represented England U20s at the 2017 Toulon Tournament.

England went on to lift the trophy as Brooks was named player of the tournament after scoring in the final.

But Brooks was initially named in Wales’ squad for the competition under then youth team chief Page before withdrawing to play for England.

“The whole start of it was a big mis-understanding,” insisted Warrington-born Brooks,23, who came through the ranks at Sheffield United.

“I had arranged to go away with England and everything was already planned.

Brooks is a key member of the Wales squad

“Literally the day of the announcement, about an hour before I was getting announced for England, Wales announced theirs.

“I hadn’t been contacted or never been called up before.

“I didn’t know anything about it.

“I was none the wiser that Wales were even looking at me.

“Then I spoke to Rob Page on the phone and said I had already made commitments and promises that I would go away with England.

“I had to thank him for not turning his back on me then.

“Thankfully it wasn’t a problem and I have never looked back since.

“I always wanted to play for Wales.

“After that tournament the opportunity came up to go away and experience what the Wales’ camps were like.

“From the moment I stepped foot in a Wales camp, I didn’t really want to go back.

“There was no doubt in my mind to take that path down the road into the first team.

“In my family there is only my dad who is English.

Brooks starred for England's youth sides
Brooks starred for England’s youth sides

“I have spent quite a bit of time in the north of Wales at Llangollen with my nana, grandad , aunties and uncles.

“I really enjoyed growing up with the Welsh heritage and the experiences I had there.

“It was a no-brainer when they came calling again that I did end up choosing Wales.”

Brooks has subsequently amassed 20 caps since making his senior Wales debut in November 2017.

He has come off the bench twice at the Euros for Wales under Page, who was promoted to Ryan Giggs’ senior staff in August 2019 before taking control last November.

Rob Page has not held it against David Brooks for playing for England as a kid ahead of Wales

Brooks will be part of the squad which travels from Rome to Amsterdam on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s last 16 clash with Denmark.

Brooks is under no illusions about the difficulty of the draw but candidly admits he would relish taking on England at Wembley with the two nations on course to meet in the semi-finals.

He added: “Everyone wants to be involved in the biggest games possible.

“The main objective was to get out of the group and Denmark is going to be a tough game.

“It is a massive game for us as a team and a country.

“You want to play in the big games and hopefully come out on top.”

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