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First team

Brooks - I want to take this opportunity

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

David Brooks is keen to thrive on the highest stage after making his tournament debut for Wales as they picked up a 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Saturday.

The Cherries winger came on as a 75th-minute substitute in Baku as Kieffer Moore's second-half header grabbed a share of the spoils for the Welsh and set a solid platform for the Dragons at Euro 2020.

Robert Page's squad next face Turkey on Wednesday 16th June (5pm kick-off), in Baku again, with Brooks giving his thoughts direct from the Wales camp.

“I think every player will want to play on the biggest stage possible, and I’m no different," he said.

“However many minutes I get in the Euros, I want to try to take the opportunity and try to impress those watching, every player will be trying to do the same.

"Without the fans, it has felt like a friendly game at times and in the play-offs we had just that extra little bit of motivation and a little bit of extra kick that you need.

"The game really is all about the fans and you want to make it a lot more interesting the Euros are the same. There aren’t loads of fans, but with as many as possible being there, it can really help the tournament in a good way.”

Brooks spoke about international and club team-mate Chris Mepham, whose domestic season came to a disappointing end with a red card away at Brentford in the play-off semi-final last month.

The 23-year-old talked about the role he's played in trying to help the defender feel ready to perform in the continental competition, Mepham playing the full 90 in the weekend's important opener.

“It’s never nice to end a season on the note he did," Brooks continued. "At the end of the day, it is just football. Obviously, it is a very passionate game and at the time it was a very difficult time for him, but I've tried to get behind him and make him feel better.

"It’s onto the next game and trying to put it right and impress in the next game, so I think he knows that now and in the Euros he's keen to show people what he can do.”

Brooks burst onto the scene with the Cherries in the Premier League in 2018/19, before injuries curtailed his progress across the following campaign.

In the Championship last season he scored six goals and increasingly showed a return to previous performance heights, something he spoke further about.

“I’ve been working extremely hard to try to get back to those levels," he said. "I feel like I’m fit and I’ve got my confidence back.

"I think I ended the season quite well in terms of performances. So, like I said, I just want to try to look forward now and impress at the Euros and take that into next season.

“To be honest, I never really doubted that I would get back to the level I was at. The focus when you’re injured is to get back as soon as possible and then once you’re back, you feel like you can get back to the form that you were previously showing.

"I was just trying to get back as quick as possible and trying to help the team.”

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