CHRIS Mepham believes team-mate David Brooks’ willingness to learn has played a key role in his rapid rise this season.

The 21-year-old playmaker has caught the eye in his debut Premier League campaign, netting six goals for Cherries on his way to being named Wales player of the year.

Mepham, who was in the Wales squad along with Brooks during the recent international break, says the award was fully earned.

“It was very well deserved,” the centre-back told the Daily Echo.

“This season he (Brooks) has shocked a lot of people, including himself. He came out in an interview and said that he wasn’t expecting his progress to be as good as it has been.

“He’s got tonnes of ability and he’s a good lad to have around and is always learning.

“I think he takes on board what’s given to him as a player and that’s obviously a really important attribute to have.”

Brooks and Mepham, also 21, are part of a youthful looking national side under boss Ryan Giggs.

As well as the Cherries duo, exciting talents Dan James, Harry Wilson and Matt Smith were in the team which beat Slovakia 1-0 to get the country’s Euro 2020 qualification campaign off to a winning start in Cardiff.

Mepham said: “We’ve got a young team coming through and we’ve got a manager that wants to play the right way and wants to play youth, so it’s a good time to be in and around the setup.

“It was nice to get another cap under my belt.

“He (Giggs) spends a lot of time with the attacking players. Being a forward he likes talking to the forward players to pass on his experience.

“He’s definitely tried to improve us defensively. We had a couple of clean sheets in the last camp, 1-0 wins against Trinidad and Tobago and Slovakia, so it’s really pleasing.”