Liverpool Academy Weekly Round Up: Woodburn gets International Call Up, U23s Make Quarter Finals
Ben Woodburn dominates all the talk of the Liverpool Academy this week, as the 17-year-old was called up to the Wales squad for the European qualifier against the Republic of Ireland this week.
Woodburn has enjoyed a breakthrough season with the first-team where he has made three Premier League appearances this season.
He is joined in the first-team squad by the in-form Harry Wilson, who was called up and an injury to Tom Lawrence and after 25 goals, his call-up was thoroughly deserved.
Wilson made his Wales debut in October 2013 when he came on as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw with Belgium in a World Cup qualifier, but has not been in the squad since.
Four years on and Woodburn could replicate the achievements of Wilson, and in the process, quash any fears that Wales have of the versatile forward switching his allegiances to England.
There have also been several other international call-ups at the Kirkby Academy this week. Staying with England, and Trent Alexander-Arnold has been called up to the England U19s squad for their European Championship qualifiers against Norway, Spain and Belarus.
The full-back, who has been knocking on the first-team door, featured in their game against Norway at St George’s Park on Wednesday, and is in the same squad as Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Davies.
Rhian Brewster was another Liverpool youngster to be involved with an England youth side, as the U23s striker continued his remarkable development with a call-up to the U17s side for their European Championship qualifiers.
Brewster is part of the squad managed by former Liverpool U18s coach Steve Cooper, and will feature for the Young Lions against Czech Republic, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina this week.
Joe Gomez has continued his step up from a long-term injury suffered last season, and the former Charlton youngster earned a call-up to the England U21s squad to play Germany and Denmark.
Elsewhere, Chesterfield loanee Ryan Fulton has earned a call-up to the Scotland U21s squad for a friendly against Estonia this month whilst Corey Whelan is in the Republic of Ireland U21s side.
Finally, both Caoimhin Kelleher and Conor Masterson were called up to the Republic of Ireland U19s squad whilst U18 goal machine Glen McAuley helped the Ireland U17s to wins over the Faroe Islands, Slovakia and Cyprus.
In the international break, there were also a few Liverpool youngsters who travelled with the first-team to their warm weather training camp in Tenerife.
U23 regulars and first-team squad players Kevin Stewart, Connor Randall, Sheyi Ojo and Paulo Alves made the trip, but there were a whole host of Academy prospects that made the trip.
Yan Dhanda, Matty Virtue, Nathan Phillips, Toni Gomes and Adam Lewis, who was sent off for the U18s last week, got the opportunity to train alongside the first-team whilst on international duty.
International aside, there was still plenty of action on the pitch at Kirkby this week. Liverpool U23s progressed to the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup after beating Hull in a penalty-shootout.
Virtue and Gomes were both in the goals at Hull’s training ground, and the Reds will now face Norwich City with a date yet to be confirmed.
Kelleher; Whelan, Phillips, Gomez, Randall; Stewart, Virtue; Dhanda (M Gomes 65′), Grujic (Alves 105′), Ojo; T Gomes.
Elsewhere, Curtis Jones continued his fast-growing reputation with another brace on his return from injury as Liverpool U18s beat Blackburn 3-0 in the Premier League play-offs.
George Johnston gave Neil Critchley’s side a fifth minute lead before Jones scored either side of half-time, his second being a superb individual goal as Liverpool remained unbeaten in the play-offs.
Atherton; Williams, Masterson, Johnston, Glennon; Coyle, Sharif; Simmonds (Blair 88′), Lewis, Jones (Adekanye 80′); Millar (Camacho 76′).
Written by Scott Taylor