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First Team

Cook - I've kept my full England kit!

Lewis Cook dribbles the ball on his England debut against Italy.

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook was proud of making his England debut on Tuesday night at Wembley Stadium, and even admitted he kept his entire match kit from the Italy clash!

Cook became the first ever active Cherries player to play for the Three Lions, in front of his family on a memorable night for the 21-year-old.

The midfielder had previously captained the Under-20s World Cup side to glory last summer, and was grateful to manager Gareth Southgate for giving him his opportunity in a youthful squad for the two World Cup warm up games.

"It’s a great achievement for me and my family," he said.

"It makes me incredibly proud and everyone has their own story trying to get there, so playing on Tuesday was a dream come true really.

"I’ve had a lot of people saying congratulations and saying how happy they are for me, so it’s good to speak to them.

"From a club point of view, being the first person it’s a great achievement so thank you to them for helping me get there.

"I had about 15 people at the game so that was nice to share the moment with them after the game.

"When I got the nod, I needed to know where I was for set pieces so that was the main thing I was concentrating on really - I didn't have time to think on the sidelines!

"I think the gaffer just said to me to go and enjoy it and I did, I took it all in, I was focused on the game and for some reason it went really quickly even though I was on for 20 minutes! But I really enjoyed it and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

"Obviously, I was nervous but I was so focused on the game, what I needed to do and the game plan. It was just about taking it all in, I was quite taken back.

"It hasn’t sunk in yet and now we’re looking ahead to the weekend so I have something else to focus on, but it’s always been my dream since I was little.

"I've not just kept the shirt but I've kept my full kit!

"You get caps as well throughout the younger age groups and I'll get one of those, but they have to go away and make it.

"I'll get it all framed so it looks nice in my house, it was an unforgettable moment for sure."

Cook did his chances of a World Cup place no harm but revealed that he didn't speak to Southgate about his potential place on the plane to Russia.

The midfielder is fully focused on club duty but was delighted with the squad showing what they can do against two strong opponents in Holland and Italy.

He continued: "I spoke to Gareth Southgate briefly afterwards and I said thank you for the opportunity, he told me well done and that was all really, nothing about the future.

"The first game was a great win, we hadn't beaten Holland for a while and it was also a good performance against Italy on Tuesday. We were unlucky not to win but there were plenty of positives and it was good to show the country that we're improving.

"They're two massive games in the build up to the World Cup, it helps set the tone for the competition so they are big games.

"I have to focus on my club at the moment before I can even think about being in the World Cup squad, but I really enjoyed the camp. If I'm doing well then you never know what could happen."

It makes me incredibly proud, playing on Tuesday was a dream come true really.

Lewis Cook
Lewis Cook sits in the dressing room to speak to afcbTV.
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Lewis Cook proud of England debut

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