by Reece Chambers
David Brooks has become the first ever player to be awarded FAW Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in the same year.
The 21-year-old has earned the prestigious award after just 10 appearances in a Welsh shirt. He made his senior debut for the Welsh side in October 2017, coming on a substitute in a 2-0 defeat to France.
Brooks’ ascendancy to the top of Welsh football has been swift given that he only made his debut for the U21 debut in Septemeber 2017 in a 3-0 win over Switzerland, scoring the second goal of the match.
The rapid rise of Brooks to the top of international and domestic football indicates the level at which he is currently playing. However, in a footballing world fixated on statistics, Brooks’ figures do not represent the entire story.
As a playmaking midfielder, the creativity from the 21-year-old does not always result in direct involvement in goals. Instead, his intelligent running enables the freedom for other players to create chances in front of goal. The ability to pick up pockets of space and sew attacking phases together is an invaluable trait and, for a player of Brooks’ young age, showcasing such qualities on the international stage and in the Premier League is encouraging for his future development.
For Wales, the development of Brooks will be something that could be crucial to the overall outlook of the squad in years to come. With world class players such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey coming towards the end of their careers in the next few years, Brooks could be an integral part of the Wales squad for the future.
Such awards earned at the Football Association of Wales 2019 indicate that Brooks will be crucial to Welsh football for years to come after an impressive start to life in international football.
Elsewhere, Gareth Bale was named FAW Players’ Player of the Year. The Real Madrid forward has played an important leadership role in the squad recently, sporting the captain’s armband in the absence of Ashley Williams.
For the ladies team, long-time captain Jess Fishlock picked up the FAW Player of the Year award. She had become the first ever player in the women’s set up to earn 100 caps for the country and has since reached 101 appearances.
70-year-old John Toshack was awarded the FAW Special Award for his lifetime achievement to Welsh football.