DAVID BROOKS is the new Prince of Wales after upstaging Gareth Bale to become the 2019 Footballer of the Year.
The Bournemouth ace, 21, has had a remarkable rise for club and country with stand-out displays in the Premier League as well as on the international stage.
Bale was voted the Players’ Player of the Year award but Brooks went one better by claiming both FAW Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year gongs at a Football Association of Wales awards ceremony on the outskirts of Cardiff last night (Thurs).
The Real Madrid ace has won the prestigious FAW award in six of the last nine years, with only Joe Allen and Chris Gunter interrupting his supreme success.
Tottenham defender Ben Davies claimed the media choice award, John Toshack was honoured with the FAW Special award and Jess Fishlock claimed the Women’s Player of the Year crown.
Wales are gearing up for their crunch Euro 2020 qualifying opener against Slovakia in Cardiff on Sunday and boss Ryan Giggs says his side are mastering the art of ‘Fergie Time’.
The new Prince of Wales
The Manchester United legend was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s remarkable trophy-laden reign at Old Trafford where the Red Devils would score all-important last-gasp goals on their way to silverware.
Giggs’ Wales have scored twice late on in their previous three games after Ben Woodburn scored a 1-0 friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago in Wrexham on Wednesday.
But the Dragons boss insists the message is clear for their opponents, starting with group rivals Slovakia, that his side will fight to the final whistle.
Giggs said: “To score late in the game is a great trait for teams to have. Okay, it didn’t come of anything against Denmark but we scored late on against them and we’ve done it against Trinidad and Tobago as well. As long as you’ve got a clean sheet, that’s a nice habit to have and that’s what I have said to the players.
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“Once you have that trait it doesn’t leave you. You know it, and the opposition know it as well, that you are a team that can score late. We kept going and I was really pleased with that.”
Wales face a repeat of their famous Euro 2016 group stage opener against the Slovaks where Chris Coleman’s semi-finalists went on to win 2-1 in Bordeaux.
Giggs added: “This is one of the big reasons why I was so excited to take the job. To be a part of a qualifying campaign. Now we get the chance on Sunday.
“It won’t be easy, Slovakia are a good team, they are probably the nearest rivals to us so it’s a big game. But I’ve got faith in the players I’ve got. We’ll be looking to get off to a good start.”