The Bournemouth man learned his trade at Leeds United.
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:
“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.
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.