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First team

Cook on England, progression and next season

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook feels it's an exciting time to be a young England player following the Young Lions' under-21s' Toulon Tournament victory.

The 21-year-old captained Aidy Boothroyd's side to yet another trophy this summer, following on from the under-20s' World Cup triumph in 2017.

It was the third consecutive Toulon Tournament gong for the under-21s and Cook admitted that winning trophies is the "best thing in football."

He said: "I really enjoyed the tournament and felt I made good steps and learned a lot.

"A lot of the players I've known for a while and we've come up together, we felt a big togetherness in the camp.

"We integrated some new players as well and they were great lads, the training was good and the aim was to bring back the trophy.

"We did that and I think it's an exciting time for young English players. The best thing in football is winning and everyone wants to do it, particularly for their country.

"Getting called up to go out there and win, I’m proud of the lads and the staff who always make a huge effort behind the scenes."

England had to come from behind in both the semi-final win over Scotland and the final against Mexico to secure the third successive Toulon Tournament crown.

Coming from behind to win a match is nothing new to Cook, who was at the heart of the Bournemouth side who accumulated 21 points from losing positions in the 2017/18 campaign.

"You always want to lift trophies and win, things don't always go your way," he continued.

"We went behind in games and were really tested, but I think I learned how to come back from last season with Bournemouth! You need that mentality and belief that you can always win.

"We had plenty of challenges but it was a pleasure to captain the team again, it's a huge honour and I know I say that a lot!

"We played a new system and it was different to the under-20s World Cup, there's more pressure there and it's important for us to experience plenty of different environments."

Cook is on standby for the senior squad who have landed in Russia ahead of their World Cup campaign.

He has had contact with the seniors and is hoping that Gareth Southgate's side can do well at the tournament.

"I was delighted to get called up for the under-21s and win the tournament and I have been in touch with some of the senior squad members.

"Some of us have come up together and a few of the lads sent some good luck messages, I sent the same about them going to Russia.

"It's good to see the lads get their chance and hopefully they can do well in the tournament.

"I think sometimes towards the end of the season your body tires and you look forward to a break to recharge. But after a week or two you're looking forward to getting back and I can't wait to get back to Bournemouth and everything the new season will bring for the team."

a few of the lads sent some good luck messages, I sent the same about them going to Russia.

Lewis Cook

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