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 Alex Inglethorpe (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, Martin Kelly, 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.[5] Liverpool won the 2005 Champions league with two locally born academy graduates starting in the final.

Academy Partnerships[edit]

The Academy has a number of football schools through partnerships with football clubs and commercial and sports organisations outside of England:


The Americas[edit]

Middle East[edit]


  • LFC International Football Academy DSK (India)[17]
  • International Academy and Soccer School (LFCIASS) (Indonesia)[18]

Academy squads[edit]

As of 18 February 2015.[19][20][21]

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 Republic of Ireland MF Cameron Brannagan
36 Germany FW Samed Yeşil
41 England MF Jack Dunn
44 Australia DF Brad Smith
46 England MF Jordan Rossiter
No. Position Player
48 England FW Jerome Sinclair
49 Wales MF Jordan Williams
51 England DF Lloyd Jones
52 Wales GK Danny Ward

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
54 England MF Sheyi Ojo (at Wigan Athletic for the 2014–15 season)[22]
No. Position Player
Spain DF Rafael Páez (at Eibar for the 2014–15 season)[23][24]


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 Kane Lewis
Republic of Ireland DF Conor Masterson[21]
Northern Ireland DF Conor Quigley
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[21]
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

Stand-out U16s[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 DF Kris Owens
England MF Trent Arnold
England MF Herbie Kane
No. Position Player
England MF Liam Robinson
England MF Harvey Whyte
England FW Yan Dhanda


Current coaching and medical staff[edit]

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

Reserve team manager history[edit]



League Champions[edit]

Cup Winners[edit]

  • Liverpool Senior Cup: 40
    • 1893, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1909, 1910 (shared), 1912 (shared), 1913, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1934 (shared), 1936 (shared), 1937, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1952, 1962, 1964 (shared), 1968, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982 (shared), 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2010

Youth Team[edit]

League Champions[edit]

Cup Winners[edit]

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. ^
  2. ^ "Reserves Travel – Liverpool FC". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Griffiths, Ian (22 March 2003). "Just for kicks". The Guardian (London). 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Grech, Paul (23 November 2008). "Liverpool Look to Ireland for New". A Liverpool Thing. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  7. ^ O'Connor, Ruaidhri (19 July 2011). "Liverpool build on strong Irish ties with club link-ups". Irish Independent. 
  8. ^ "Liverpool's deal with Belgian club Genk". Liverpool FC. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "International Football Academy" (in Greek). Mini Football News. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "International Football Academy Norway" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "International Football Academy Sweden" (in Swedish). Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "International Football Academy Denmark" (in Danish). Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Liverpool FC Soccer Schools Online Booker". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Dynamo Juniors of Central Texas Announce Partnership with Liverpool Football Club". Empire of the Kop. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Liverpool Football Club Soccer Schools". Harlequin Hotels & Resorts. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Rogers, Paul (20 January 2012). "LFC open Egypt football academy". Liverpool FC (Cairo). 
  17. ^ "Reds to launch Indian academy". Liverpool F.C. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Liverpool to set up first Asia academy". The Jakarta Post. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Academy, U21s and U18s". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "UEFA Youth League Liverpool F.C. Squad". UEFA. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c "Liverpool 1 Sunderland 0 (under 18s): Hard fought win for much-changed young Reds side". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Academy winger joins Wigan on loan deal". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Paez joined Italian outfit Bologna on a season long loan for 2014–15". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  24. ^ "El Eibar obtiene del Liverpool la cesión del central Rafa Paéz" (in Spanish). SD Eibar. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Dynasty: The Joe Fagan Years 1983-1985". Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "L.C.F.A. Saturday Challenge Cup Honours List". Liverpool County FA. Retrieved 18 May 2008. 
  30. ^ "L.C.F.A. Youth (Under 18) Cup Honours List". Liverpool County FA. Retrieved 18 May 2008. 


External links[edit]