Steven Gerrard has dominated the headlines at Kirkby this week.
The former Liverpool star returned to the club on a coaching basis in January and is set for a job promotion. Elsewhere, both the U23s and U18s failed to win in a miserable week at Kirkby, but the Reds will be boosted with a new signing, here’s this week’s Anfield HQ academy round-up:
Steven Gerrard is set to become Head Coach of Liverpool’s U18s side from the start of next season, just three months after returning to the club on a coaching capacity.
Gerrard, 36, has been working closely with Neil Critchley and his coaching staff in a floating role with the U18s, getting involved in training and travelling for matchdays.
However, he will be given the reigns at the start of the 2017/18 season. It leaves two questions; firstly, the departure of Neil Critchley, who is expected to make the step up to U23 level and secondly, where does that leave Gerrard pursuing a media career, as he has worked with BT Sport.
Elsewhere, Gerrard will be potentially working with a new goalkeeper, with the Reds set to make their first signing of the summer, with Czech Republic youngster Vitezslav Jaros for £300,000.
Liverpool were given a two-year ban from signing academy players last week, but Jaros is exempt because he is stated as a foreign player, and not from another English football academy as Liverpool are set to take a new, temporary approach in player recruitment.It is understood that Liverpool have fended off competition from Southampton for the goalkeeper’s signature, and he will join in the summer after an impressive trial from Slavia Mladez.
It is understood that Liverpool have fended off competition from Southampton for the goalkeeper’s signature, and he will join in the summer after an impressive trial from Slavia Mladez.
Wilson shines for U23s
Elsewhere, one of Liverpool’s current players continues to shine. Harry Wilson scored a brace to take his tally to 27 goals as the U23s came back from 2-0 down to draw with Southampton at St Mary’s.
Alfie Jones and Olufela Olomola put the hosts in a strong position midway through the second half, but with less than 15 minutes left, Wilson pulled one back for the visitors.
Mike Garrity’s men then snatched a point at the death, with Wilson scoring on the rebound after missing a 91st-minute penalty to seal a point for a youthful U23s side, who were without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn, Joe Gomez, Marko Grujic and Sheyi Ojo.
LIVERPOOL U23s: Kelleher; Whelan, Randall, N Phillips (Hart, 65), Masterson; J Williams, Wilson, Virtue, Brewster, Alves (Dhanda, 74), Stewart.
In a disappointing weekend on the pitch, Liverpool U18s suffered a 2-1 defeat at Reading in the U18 Premier League play-offs.
George Johnston scored the consolation for the visitors, who just like their U23 team-mates, found themselves 2-0 down before coming back into the game.
However, they could not achieve what their senior professionals did at St Mary’s and suffered their first defeat in the play-offs to leave their chances of winning the title looking slim.
LIVERPOOL U18s: Atherton; N Williams (Adekanye, 85), Glennon, R Williams, Johnston; Coyle, Longstaff, Sharif, McAuley (Simmonds, 60), Jones (Camacho, 75), Millar.
Luis Longstaff featured in that game, and less than a week later, the midfielder was training with the first-team at Kirkby. It continues a memorable season for Longstaff, who started the season playing with the U15s.
He then scored his first goal at U18s level in the 2-2 draw against Man Utd at the start of the play-off stages, and trained alongside Jurgen Klopp’s side at Melwood.
Written by Scott Taylor.