LONDON (AFP) Wayne Rooney believes England will feel the benefit of his new-found maturity when the Manchester United striker leads his countrys bid to win the World Cup. Rooney has been in superb form this season and his performances for United have been recognised by a host of player of the year awards over the last month. Aside from his 34 goals and countless match-winning displays, the most impressive aspect of Rooneys campaign has been his ability to stay out of trouble on the pitch. The sight of Rooney snarling at opponents and referees after yet another flashpoint was commonplace during his early years at Everton and then United. But, after initially earning a reputation as a hot-head who was liable to get himself sent off at the first sign of provocation, Rooney was booked just eight times this term. He admits the process of growing up in the spotlight had taken a while to get used to, but now he is fully aware of his responsibilities to United and England. A few years ago, I was still a very young lad playing for my country and in the Premier League, Rooney said. You are excited and emotional when you make decisions, but now I have matured, on and off the pitch. With age, it has helped me and now I probably take my anger out during training the week before the game. Rooneys most infamous meltdown came when he was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho during Englands quarter-final defeat against Portugal at the 2006 World Cup. Now Rooney is married and recently became a father and the calming effects on his game have been clear for all to see. With his mind more focused and his form reaching new heights this season, Rooney hopes to make a major impact in South Africa after his previous two international tournaments ended in disappointment. As well as being sent off against Portugal, Rooney also suffered a broken foot that forced him to come off during Englands Euro 2004 exit to the same opposition. The two tournaments I have played in both ended in disappointment for me. I broke my foot and then got sent off, Rooney said. In the last World Cup I did not really show enough of my quality and enough excitement, which I wanted to. I am looking forward to this one and want to try to take my club form in with England, to help us win the World Cup.