Lewis Cook hails importance of Neil Redfearn and Lucy Ward after England call-up

Leeds manager Neil Redfearn looks on ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Leeds United at Madejski Stadium on February 10, 2015 in Reading, England.

The Bournemouth man learned his trade at Leeds United.


Lewis Cook of England looks on during an England training session ahead of the International Friendly match between England and Brazil on November 13, 2017 in Enfield, England.

Leeds United’s impressive academy got another seal of approval this week, when Lewis Cook was called up to the England senior team by Gareth Southgate. The former Leeds star, now at AFC Bournemouth, was rewarded mainly for his showings as the England under-20 World Cup captain - who won the title this summer.

Leeds however will take a lot of credit for the progress of the young man and he himself picked out two very important people in his development from his time at Leeds. Unfortunately, neither of the names he mentions are still at the club. Cook explained to The Times this week that former academy boss Neil Redfearn and player liaison officer Lucy Ward were instrumental toward his success in the game:

Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United at Amex Stadium on February 24, 2015 in Brighton, England.

“Lucy was like a player liaison officer and really helped me through my scholarship — trying to get that balance between school and playing.

“Neil was my manager at the start and he played me in the under-18s, under-21s and then the first team. He was a great coach and a great person as well.” 

Of course Redfearn, who also ended up as first-team manager at Elland Road, and Ward both left the Championship club in acrimonious circumstances under the often scattergun rule of former Leeds owner Massimo Cellino.

Massimo Cellino President and Director of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Fulham at Elland Road on December 13, 2014 in Leeds, England.

Leeds had an excellent youth set-up at the time which has seen players such as Charlie Taylor, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips also make the grade at first-team level. The hope is that more will soon be coming through the door at Thorp Arch.

Leeds fans would love to see one of their own in the England team one day soon.


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