IT is fair to say when David Brooks is at his peak – the Cherries playmaker has the ability to light up any competitive fixture.

Brooks oozed class with his two-goal haul for Cherries in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Birmingham at St Andrew’s, showing signs he has finally put all of his injury concerns behind him.

While the 23-year-old’s natural talent is unquestioned, keeping the Warrington-born midfielder fit has not always been the easiest thing to do for both club and country.

When signing for Cherries in the summer of 2018 – Brooks went on to showcase his class with an outstanding first campaign under Eddie Howe in the top flight.

Thirty Premier League games in that season yielded seven goals and five assists. Brooks took the division by storm before he was stuck down with an ankle injury in July 2019, sustained innocuously during a pre-season friendly at Brentford.

That moment saw the former Manchester City youngster go under the knife twice – costing him almost a year of his career, as he looked to get back up to full speed.

Brooks returned for Cherries during Project Restart last season – but again he was hampered by a wrist injury picked up in an inter-squad training match, ahead of the resumption of the top flight.

He played on with a cast during that period but his impact was too late to stop Cherries being relegated back to the Championship.

This season has also been stop-start for the Wales international, he was taken ill ahead of Cherries’ Championship clash with Norwich before picking up a knock while with Wales in October.

The midfield star has not had the rub of the green when it comes to injuries - but he is now hoping to showcase his class by getting in a run of games and kicking on for club and country.

“Obviously, it’s difficult when I think I was out for more than 12 months,” he told the Daily Echo.

“To keep mentally prepared to go in every day, work hard and try to get back is the only thing you can look at – the light at the end of the tunnel.

“You try to get back to playing and, with the physios helping me near enough every day for the past year, it’s been good.

“Thankfully, I am back on the pitch now and hopefully I can stay there.”

Asked whether he felt he was due a slice of luck, the affable Cherries star replied: “Yeah, you could say that, really!

“The wrist was a training accident with Harry Wilson. Then I got ill and the ground gave way when I was on the international break (in October).

“It’s not really been big impact stuff or major injuries but it’s just kept me out for a couple of weeks, which has totted up over time.

“It’s not nice for me to sit in the stands – hopefully that bad luck can end now.”

Brooks admits his ideal scenario for last season was to help Cherries stay up and in turn stake his claim for a place in the Wales squad, for the finals of Euro 2020.

But with the Dorset club failing to beat the drop and the international tournament pushed back to next summer due to COVID-19, the gifted playmaker has had to refocus.

“With the Euros being postponed and us going down, it wasn’t a great period,” admitted Brooks, who could return for Wales in a friendly against the United States at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium tomorrow.

“But thankfully the Euros are coming round this summer.

“If I can keep fit and play well, hopefully I get called up, can go away and have a good tournament.

“It’s every boy’s dream to go and represent their country at a World Cup or Euros.

“You look at what Wales did in the last Euros – they got to the semi-finals and they did wonderfully.

“As a player you want that, you want to be involved in a team like that and you want to try to make history.

“That’s what we are aiming to do. We have obviously got qualifiers and Nations League games coming up before then.

“We will try to win those games and go into the Euros with a bit of momentum.”

He added: “I always love to go away with Wales.

“I’ve got some great mates there and I think the whole camp, football-wise it just gives you a little freshen up with new members of staff and new players just to freshen it up.

“So then you’d obviously feel a bit better when you go away and then when you come back you’re feeling refreshed as well.

“I think it works going away with Wales and coming back to Bournemouth, so hopefully we can get some points on the board with Wales as well.”

With Cherries having worked tirelessly to get Brooks back to his fluent best, boss Jason Tindall is hoping the international fixtures will be a help rather than a hinderance.

Asked whether he planned to speak to Wales about managing Brooks’s fitness, the Cherries boss replied: “It’s a difficult one because Brooksy’s had a good amount of training now and he’s had some good minutes.

“With the international games coming up for his country, I’m sure that’s another opportunity for him to play and get some more minutes.

“All we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope that any of our internationals, whilst they’re away and whilst they’re playing, that they come through the games unscathed and are able to be in contention to play for us when they return.”