Former Adelaide United winger Lachlan Brook hasn’t taken the conventional route so far in his football career.
Aged just 16, he made his debut for Adelaide United in the Asian Champions League in 2017.
However just four A-League Men’s games in the next three years followed, and it wasn’t until Carl Veart took charge as interim boss that he was truly allowed to flourish.
Brook impressed in his four starts for Veart while the Reds were in their bubble in Western Sydney, scoring his maiden professional goal against Perth Glory in a 5-3 win.
That form impressed then English Championship side Brentford enough to take the plunge and bring him across to London in October of last year for an undisclosed fee, as part of the five Adelaide United players that made overseas moves in last year’s European summer transfer window.
After taking some time to adapt last season, Brook has began to assert his authority and knock on the door of the senior squad, appearing in pre-season friendlies and scoring two goals so far this season for Brentford B.
“At the end of the day that’s why I’m here, to try and break into the first team”, Brook told Kick360.
“But for me it’s just working on my game going from week to week and just really getting all those little things right and always working hard and I think everything will happen in its own time.”
‘Brentford B’ function in a different way to most Premier League Under 23’s outfits, playing friendlies rather than competing in a league format.
“It’s not a team that is in a league so we do play games as well but it’s just not in a league,” The 20-year-old said.
“They are always competitive, I don’t think you’ll ever get a game anywhere in Europe that is not competitive especially when the whistle is blown it doesn’t matter what you’re playing for everyone wants to play.”
“I think the good thing about it is we get to play a different number of teams whether that’s League Two teams, League One teams or conference teams where you get to play a more physical side of the game than what you play against the Under-23 Premier League teams so you get to compare yourself to players that are your age and we always do well if not win those sort of games.”
Those games against Premier League opposition have seen him tackle some Premier League stars searching for fitness.
“Just recently we played against Chelsea and Ross Barkley and a few players like that (were playing), then this week I was watching the Chelsea game and Ross Barkley is playing in the Champions League against Juventus so it is mental like that”, Brook said.
“You do really sit back and go ‘oh wow that’s crazy’ because these players are on millions of dollars, played for England, so many caps in the Premier League so obviously you see those players and you learn a lot from them as well so on the whole it’s a really good experience.”
Despite continental European loan interest, Brook is intent on remaining in England for the time being to try and break into the squad.
“We thought about it (going on loan)”, Brook said.
“But for me just staying at the moment is the right idea and just seeing how I go, there’s another window in January but at the moment I’m just focusing on my games with Brentford and going from there.”
Brook grew up just minutes from fellow Gawler Eagles product Riley McGree and has mirrored his career in many respects, from being substituted on for the now Socceroo on his debut to sharing a flight with McGree when he arrived in England to sign for Birmingham City.
“I was actually on the same flight as Riley over here so that was pretty cool”, Brook said.
“But we chat quite often, especially through the first parts of moving here I don’t think I saw him (due to lockdown) until earlier this year and it is pretty far away (from London to Birmingham) and we’re both busy with the schedules we have but we do still talk often.”
Brook now has his eye set on emulating McGree on the national stage and is hopeful of a call up for the Olyroos’ next camp.
“Yeah for sure that’s definitely something I’m pushing towards”, Brook stated.
“I think there’s a camp coming up soon that I hope to be involved in and for all of that stuff you obviously always want to get into the national teams whatever age it is because it’s always an honour to represent your country, but that is definitely something I’m striving towards”
Brook has even caught the eye of Graham Arnold while the Socceroos boss was spending time in England in the past month, attending games in England.
“He’s doing very very well.” Arnold said in his press conference on Saturday while announcing his squad for the upcoming qualifiers.
“He’s a young boy and that is what we are always looking out for, young players that are coming through the system that can really step up and add to our squad.”
“Lachy’s doing very well, he’s getting a lot of match minutes and a lot of games for Brentford in the Under-23’s and it’s great to see.”