Lachlan Brook believes playing six matches in 14 days with the Young Socceroos at the AFF U-18 Championship has had a twofold impact as he resumes pre-season training with Adelaide United.
Brook played in six of Australia’s seven matches in the tournament held in Vietnam which saw the dynamic midfielder not only gain match fitness, but also confidence.
The 18-year-old found the net three times, which included scoring the winning goal as the Young Socceroos claimed a 1-0 victory over Malaysia in the Final.
“Well it’s given me a lot of match fitness which is obviously hard to come by as a youth player which I’m really happy about that,” Brook explained, after Australia collected the title for a fifth time.
“And obviously a bit of confidence as well, I felt like I did well enough at the tournament and it brought back a little bit of fitness and confidence and I’m hoping to push forward.”
Brook said the Championship was a great experience and that it helped knowing what to expect a second time around.
“It was not my first tournament,” he said.
“I’ve done the same tournament twice now, the AFF, obviously in different age groups.
“I knew what it was all about and how hard it is in the heat and let alone playing a game every second day.
“So it was tough but I really enjoyed it.”
Brook scored against Vietnam in the group stage before netting the equaliser in a 2-1 semi-final triumph against Myanmar.
However, it was his clinically taken finish against Malaysia that was extra special not least due to securing the Championship, but because it was assisted by fellow Reds teammate, Louis D’Arrigo.
D’Arrigo’s impressive defence-splitting through ball from midfield played in Brook, who guided his finish past the onrushing goalkeeper.
The pair have spent virtually their entire young careers together, progressing through the youth ranks both at club, state and international level.
“I’ve been with Louis through a lot,” he said.
“I think we both know each other more than anyone really especially on the pitch.
“So that was pretty special moment and then obviously scoring the winner and scoring in any final really is a really special moment.”