Liverpool F.C. Reserves and Academy

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Liverpool Reserves
Liverpool FC.svg
Full name Liverpool Football Club Reserves
Nickname(s) The Reds
Founded 1892
Ground Langtree Park
St Helens, Merseyside
Ground Capacity 18,000
Manager Michael Beale (Under 21s)
Neil Critchley (Under 18s)
League Professional Development League 1
2013–14 Professional Development League 1 Group 3
Website Club home page

Liverpool F.C. Reserves is the reserve team of Liverpool. It is the most senior level of the Liverpool academy beneath the first team. In the summer of 2012, the whole English reserve football system was overhauled and replaced with an Under 21 league system, the Professional Development League. Liverpool's Reserve team became the Liverpool under 21 team and competes in the Professional Development League 1 which is also known by its sponsorship name of Barclays under 21 Premier League. The team generally consists of Under-21 players at the club but at times senior players also play for the reserves when they are recuperating from injury. Following the introduction of new regulations from 2012-13 season, only three outfield players and one goalkeeper over the age of 21 can play for the reserves regularly. The current reserve team is coached by Michael Beale.

In 2012–13 Professional U21 Development League the reserve team of Liverpool reached the semifinal before losing to the eventual winners Manchester United. The following season in 2013-14 the reserves team again lost to Manchester United reserves in the semis.

Liverpool F.C. Academy is the youth set up Liverpool Football Club. It trains players from the U6 age group[1] up to the U21 squad. The academy has separate head coaches in charge of development in the U6-U9, U10-U11, U12-U14 and U15-U16 age groups. At U21 and U18 level there are dedicated coaching teams managed by Michael Beale and Neil Critchley respectively. Alex Inglethorpe was promoted from U21 manager to Academy Director in the summer of 2014 and hold overall responsibility for operation of the academy. The academy has won the FA Youth Cup, a competition for players of age 15 to 18, three times in 1996, 2006 and 2007.

Liverpool F.C. Academy is considered to be one of the best and one of the most prolific football academies both in England and in the world. Various current and past Liverpool players have graduated through the academy with the likes of Billy Liddell, Ronnie Moran, Ian Callaghan, Phil Thompson, Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling among many others.

Reserve team[edit]

Liverpool Reserves played in the FA Premier Reserve League. The Reserves won the regional division title in 2000 and again in 2008 winning also the national league that year. It competed in the Lancashire Combination from 1896 to 1911, with the exception of the 1898–99 season, in which it joined The Combination. From 1911 on, it took part in the Central League until becoming inaugural members of the Premier Reserve League North in 1999. It also used to participate in the Liverpool Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup; the last time it took part in them was the 2009–10 season when it also won both competitions.

The last reserve team manager was Rodolfo Borrell, who was appointed in July 2011 and led the reserve team during its final season before taking over the newly formed under-21 side in July 2012. The reserves last played their home games at Prenton Park (the home of Tranmere Rovers);[2] in previous seasons the team has also played at the club's academy, the Halliwell Jones Stadium (home of Warrington Wolves), Haig Avenue (the home of Southport), Knowsley Road (the home of St Helens RLFC) and the Racecourse Ground (home of Wrexham).

The team was the subject of a famous[citation needed] quote from Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly, who, while telling a joke at the expense of local rivals Everton, declared, In my time at Anfield we always said we had the two best teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves. Another version of the quote has Shankly saying, There's only two teams in Liverpool: Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves.

The most successful Liverpool Reserves manager was Roy Evans. Evans spent most of his playing career as a reserve team player, making only 11 appearances for the first team. After an injury ended his career in 1974, he was appointed manager of the reserves by Bob Paisley. Evans subsequently led the reserves to victory in a series of Central League championships, including three in his first three seasons, a four in a row sequence from 1978, and two more in the early 1980s. Throughout the history of Liverpool FC, many of the club's best known players have progressed through the reserve team. These include current first team squad members Steven Gerrard, Jon Flanagan, Jack Robinson, and Raheem Sterling as well as Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman and Jamie Carragher.

The Academy[edit]

The Academy

In 1998, a new state-of-the-art Youth Academy was opened in Kirkby, Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley. It replaced the older, more informal youth system, and enables the club to focus their youth development and scouting, employing new techniques and FA standards.

It was overseen by Frank McParland. The Academy now allows the main training ground at Melwood to be kept solely for the first team squad and allows all the areas there to be kept in excellent condition. It also provides a stepping stone for youngsters to progress to the highest levels of football at Liverpool.

Scouts attend many local youth matches looking for talented boys. A boy will then be invited to attend training sessions at the Academy. They are currently taken in as young as the age of six. Former England International player Jamie Carragher started at Liverpool when he was aged just nine, with Michael Owen joining at eleven, and Steven Gerrard joining at the age of eight. Current Liverpool first team player Jordan Rossiter first represented the club at U6 level.[3] At this age, the boys start by simply attending after-school training sessions, but as they reach their middle-teens, their academic needs will be taken over by the Academy if they are deemed athletically talented enough. As such, the Academy has a lecture theatre and a computer-equipped classroom.

The Academy can handle up to twenty boys in each year group, although the actual number in each year group is usually around eighteen. Between the ages of eight and twelve the boys play in eight-a-side games of three twenty-minute periods. It allows the boys to play as defenders or as attackers in small groups within a system and is not as physically demanding as playing eleven-a-side matches.

There are four full-size grass pitches and one with a Polytan surface. There are also a further seven smaller pitches and an indoor arena. The grounds cover an area of 56 acres.

On the walls of the indoor centre hang the words 'Technique', 'Attitude', 'Balance', and 'Speed'. 'TABS' is the key word preached at The Academy.[4] Academy director Alex Inglethorpe has said the remit of the academy is to produce physically, technically, tactically and mentally elite players with enough quality to represent the senior side in the Champions League.[1] Liverpool won the 2005 Champions league with two locally born academy graduates starting in the final.

Academy Partnerships[edit]

The Academy has a long-lasting affiliation with MTK Budapest's Sándor Károly Football Academy[5] and maintains a number of football schools worldwide through partnerships with football clubs and commercial and sports organisations.[6] LFC International Football Academy currently has branches in Scandinavia[7] (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Gran Canaria during winter), America[8] (Texas and Plymouth, the latter through an affiliate[9] with CS United Soccer Club), Egypt[10] (Cairo), South Africa[11] (Durban and Johannesburg), China[12] (Guilin), India[13] (Pune, in cooperation with DSK Shivajians), and Japan[14] (Tokyo). It used to run schools in Boston, Charlotte, Saint Vincent, Iceland, Belfast, Dublin, Katwijk, Madrid, Lisbon, Malta, Cyprus, Abuja, Nairobi, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Manila, and Hong Kong.[6]

Academy squads[edit]

As of 20 March 2015.[15][16][17][18][19]

Registered for the first team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
32 England MF Cameron Brannagan
36 Germany FW Samed Yeşil
41 England MF Jack Dunn
No. Position Player
44 Australia DF Brad Smith
46 England MF Jordan Rossiter
49 Wales MF Jordan Williams

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
41 England MF Jack Dunn (at Burton Albion F.C. until 26 April 2015)[20]
48 England FW Jerome Sinclair (at Wigan Athletic for the 2014–15 season)[21]
51 England DF Lloyd Jones (at Accrington Stanley on a 28-day loan)[22]
52 Wales GK Danny Ward (at Morecambe on a one-month loan)[23]
No. Position Player
54 England MF Sheyi Ojo (at Wigan Athletic for the 2014–15 season)[24]
England MF Jordan Lussey (at Bolton Wanderers for the 2014–15 season)[25]
Spain DF Rafael Páez (at Eibar for the 2014–15 season)[26][27]
England DF Kevin Stewart (at Burton Albion F.C. until 26 April 2015)[28]


Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Scotland GK Ryan Fulton
Chile GK Lawrence Vigouroux
Republic of Ireland DF Daniel Cleary
England DF Sam Hart
England DF Joe Maguire
Northern Ireland DF Ryan McLaughlin
Republic of Ireland DF Alex O'Hanlon
Hungary DF Kristóf Polgár
England DF Connor Randall
No. Position Player
England DF Kevin Stewart
Spain MF Sergi Canós
Spain MF Pedro Chirivella
England MF Ryan Kent
England MF Jordan Lussey
England MF Will Marsh
United States MF Marc Pelosi
England MF Daniel Trickett-Smith
Wales MF Harry Wilson


Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Shamal George
England GK Andrew Firth
England GK Ben Jackson
England GK Owen Wheeler
England DF Tom Brewitt
England DF Josh Dobie
England DF George Johnston[19]
England DF Kane Lewis
Republic of Ireland DF Conor Masterson[18]
England DF Mich'el Parker[19]
England DF David Roberts
England DF Nathan Sheron
England DF Lewis Travis
No. Position Player
England DF Dharius Waldron
Republic of Ireland DF Corey Whelan
Australia MF Jake Brimmer
Nigeria MF Oviemuno Ejaria
England MF Bradley Garton
Spain MF Madger Gomes[18]
England MF Liam Griffin
England MF Wade Maxwell
England MF Callum Nicholas
England MF Adam Phillips
England MF Matthew Virtue-Thick
England MF Jack Watts
Portugal FW Toni Gomes[29]

U16s & U15s[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Daniel Atherton
England GK Benjamin Williams
England DF Liam Collings
England DF Liam Coyle
England DF Fergus Grogan
England DF Jordan Hunter
England DF Andrew Jackson
England DF Suleman Naeem
England DF Kris Owens
England DF Anthony Plant
England DF Thomas Scully
England MF Trent Alexander-Arnold
No. Position Player
England MF Rhian Brewster
England MF Ethan Dwyer
Wales MF Kieran Holsgrove
England MF Herbie Kane
England MF Adam Lewis
England MF Reese McGinley
England MF Liam Robinson
England MF Harvey Whyte
England FW Yan Dhanda
Republic of Ireland FW Glen McAuley
England FW Okera Simmonds
Wales FW Benjamin Woodburn


Current coaching and medical staff[edit]

In addition, the Academy employ staff from the first-team.

Reserve team manager history[edit]


Liverpool Academy Players' Player of the Year[edit]

Players in bold are still playing for Liverpool.

Season Name Nationality Position Ref(s)
2013–14 Rossiter, JordanJordan Rossiter  England Midfielder [31][32]


*Asterisk denotes a shared title.

Noted graduates[edit]

Those who made it at the Club[edit]

Liverpool's youth system has been successful over the years; many players who have come through it have gone on to feature in the first-team. The following players have gone on to play at least 5 senior matches for the first team.


And those who made it elsewhere[edit]

Many of the former Liverpool youth and reserve team players have found success with other clubs. None of these players became established members of the Liverpool first team.






  1. ^ a b "Alex Inglethorpe insists it is important for Liverpool FC to bring through local talent". Liverpool Echo. 7 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Reserves Travel – Liverpool FC". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Photos: Jordan's rise through LFC's ranks". Liverpool F.C. 23 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Griffiths, Ian (22 March 2003). "Just for kicks". The Guardian (London). 
  5. ^ "Sándor Károly Football Academy". Retrieved 24 March 2015. The Academy also has a partnership agreement with Liverpool FC. The Academy is regularly inspected by representatives of this outstanding club to be informed about the players´ development first hand. 
  6. ^ a b "LFC International Academy - International Courses". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Scandinavia". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "LFC International Football Academy America". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "CS United Soccer Club". CS United Soccer Club. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Egypt". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "LFC International Football Academy South Africa". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Guilin". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "LFC International Football Academy DSK Shivajians". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Japan". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Academy, U21s and U18s". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "UEFA Youth League Liverpool F.C. Squad". UEFA. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Liverpool Junior Section". Dale Farm Milk Cup. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  18. ^ a b c "Liverpool 1 Sunderland 0 (under 18s): Hard fought win for much-changed young Reds side". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c "Liverpool U18s 3-2 Leicester City U18s: Ejaria the star as Reds weather Leicester fightback in Kirkby sunshine". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "Youngsters complete Burton loan moves". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "Sinclair joins Wigan on youth loan deal". Liverpool F.C. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "Jones joins Accrington Stanley on loan". Liverpool F.C. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "Ward completes Morecambe switch". Liverpool F.C. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  24. ^ "Academy winger joins Wigan on loan deal". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "Lussey seals Bolton loan switch". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  26. ^ "Paez joined Italian outfit Bologna on a season long loan for 2014–15". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  27. ^ "El Eibar obtiene del Liverpool la cesión del central Rafa Paéz" (in Spanish). SD Eibar. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  28. ^ "Youngsters complete Burton loan moves". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "Liverpool FC under-18s 2 Valencia 1 - young Reds crash out Frenz International Cup". Liverpool Echo. 10 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Dynasty: The Joe Fagan Years 1983-1985". Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  31. ^ "Suarez bags treble at awards dinner". Liverpool F.C. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Hot prospect Jordan Rossiter scooped the Academy Players' Player of the Year honour 
  32. ^ "Rossiter: This prize means the world". Liverpool F.C. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 


External links[edit]