Australian forward Lachlan Brook says he is learning something new every day playing in England and is gunning for an Olyroos place at the Tokyo Games.
In October, Brook swapped Adelaide United to join the reserves of Championship club Brentford.
The 20-year-old has been playing regularly for Brentford B, who are managed by Scotsman Neil MacFarlane.
Brook has been mixing it with the Under-23s of Chelsea, Charlton Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal and Watford, as well as against non-league sides such as Forest Green Rovers, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead Town.
The winger, who made his A-League debut for the Reds in 2018, feels he is thriving in the UK.
“I’m learning a new thing every day,” he told The World Game. “There are really good coaches that are helping me out.
"It’s definitely different [to football in Australia], but it’s good. The level is completely different, the types of training as well, especially when you go up with the first-team, that’s quite different.
“The standard is quite good. Even when we play these lower league teams you can see some of them have played at big clubs as well. Their understanding of football is amazing.”
Brentford have a unique set-up as they closed their youth academy down in 2016 and instead have a B team, which is make up of talented teenagers from around the world.
The first-team and the reserves of the Bees are linked closely together in a model unique from the rest of English football.
“The B team have a good relationship with coaches, with the first-team - and Brentford only have two teams so everyone’s quite close together in how they work,” Brook explained.
“So the reports that our B team coaches give the first-team, and their opinions on what certain players have to work on, I guess that’s one of the really good things we have here at Brentford is that real close relationship between the two teams.”
The west London club are flying high in the Championship in the moment, sitting in fourth place on the ladder with 68 points and pushing towards the Premier League promotion playoffs.
“That is awesome,” the winger said. “It’s a tough season in the Championship.
"You play two games a week and there’s games firing at you all the time, so if you think too far ahead that’s when teams start to struggle.
The Gawler Eagles product, who came through Adelaide United’s academy and the FFA Centre of Excellence, has set his sights on breaking into senior football at Brentford.
He admits, though, it has been a trying six months with COVID-19 gripping the UK.
"That’s why I’m here – to try and get as good as I can and get into that first-team,” Brook said.
“I want to really make my mark. I think Brentford is a really good club to be at, especially with the model that they have.
"Obviously the goal is to get better and better and hopefully reach the top.
“I moved here in October. It’s not been ideal [with COVID], and especially seeing everyone back home that’s been pretty much living normal now.
But I’m very lucky in the situation that I’m in, in that I spend most of my day at training anyway.
“So in terms of doing other stuff… I do like to get out and about and visit London. But I’m here for a while hopefully, so I’ve got plenty of time to do that.”
Brook also has his eyes on winning a green and gold shirt for the upcoming Olympics.
The attacker has already represented Australia at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 level, but believes Tokyo would be special.
“Playing for Australia was always a really great honour,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play with them through most of the levels.
"We did have an up and coming camp cancelled, which I was a little bit disappointed about.
“It would have been good to see some of my mates and obviously be back with the team.
"But that’s another focus for me at the moment with the Olympics coming up - to really try and put my foot in the door and try and get noticed.
“Going to the Olympics would be a really awesome thing, not only for me but just in general.”