Liverpool F.C. Reserves and Academy
|Full name||Liverpool Football Club Reserves|
St Helens, Merseyside
|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 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.
- 1 Reserve team
- 2 The Academy
- 3 Academy squads
- 4 Staff
- 5 Honours
- 6 Noted graduates
- 7 Notes
- 8 Sources
- 9 External links
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); 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 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.
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. 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.
On the walls of the indoor centre hang the words 'Technique', 'Attitude', 'Balance', and 'Speed'. 'TABS' is the key word preached at The Academy. 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. Liverpool won the 2005 Champions league with two locally born academy graduates starting in the final.
The Academy has a number of football schools through partnerships with football clubs and commercial and sports organisations outside of England:
- Lucan United (Republic Of Ireland)
- St. Kevin's Boys Football Club (Republic of Ireland)
- St Joseph's Boys Football Club (Republic of Ireland)
- Bray Wanderers (Republic of Ireland)
- K.R.C. Genk (Belgium)
- MTK Budapest (Hungary)
- Cyprus & Greece
- International Football Academy I Norge Norway
- International Football Academy Sweden
- International Football Academy Denmark
- Northern Ireland
- Dynamo Juniors of Central Texas (United States of America)
- Harlequin Sports Academies (St. Vincent)
- LFC International Football Academy DSK (India)
- International Academy and Soccer School (LFCIASS) (Indonesia)
- As of 17 January 2015.
Registered for the first team
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Current coaching staff
- Academy Director: Alex Inglethorpe
- Head of Academy business: Andrew Powlesland
- Head of Academy football operations: Nick Marshall
- Assistant Academy manager/Head of education & welfare: Phil Roscoe
- Under 21 Manager: Michael Beale
- Under 21 Fitness Coach: Andy O'Boyle
- Under 21 Goalkeeping Coach: Mark Morris
- Under 21 Head Physiotherapist: Andy Renshaw
- Under 21 Physiotherapist: Richie Partridge
- Under 18 Manager: Neil Critchley
- Under 18 Assistant Coach: Mike Garrity
- Under 18 Fitness Coach: vacant
- Under 18 Goalkeeping Coach: Neil Edwards
- Under 18 Physiotherapist: Liam Kershaw
- Under 18 performance analyst: Kyle Wallbanks
- Academy Coach (Head of U15-U16): Pepijn Lijnders
- Academy Coach (Head of U12-U14): Tim Lees
- Academy Coach (Head of U10-U11): vacant
- Academy Coach (Head of U6-U9): Michael Yates
- Academy U16 Coach: Pepijn Lijnders
- Academy U15 Coach: Desmond Maher
- Academy U14 Coach: Tim Lees
- Academy U13 Coach: Dave Rowe
- Academy Coach: Gareth Cook
- Academy Coach: Steve Hollis
- Academy Head of development analysis: Tim Jenkins
- Academy U15-U16 performance analyst: Scott Mason
- Academy performance analyst: Brad Wall
- Academy Head of Fitness: Andy O'Boyle
- Academy Chief Scout: Dave Moss
- Senior Academy scout: Matthew Newberry
- Academy Head of Local Recruitment: Ian Barrigan
- Academy Doctor: Andy Massey
- Academy Head physiotherapist: Andy Renshaw
- Academy physiotherapist: Neil Davies
- Academy Sports Therapist: Joe Lewis
- Academy Assistant Sports Scientist: Oliver Morgan
- Academy Head of Education and Welfare: Phil Roscoe
- Academy Education and welfare officer: Clive Cook
- Academy Kit management co-ordinator: Scott Redwood
In addition, the Academy employ staff from the first-team.
Reserve team manager history
- Bob Paisley (1954–1957)
- Joe Fagan (1957–1974)
- Roy Evans (1975–1984)
- Chris Lawler (1984–1986)
- Phil Thompson (1986–1992)
- Sammy Lee (1993–1998)
- Joe Corrigan (1998–2002)
- Hughie McAuley (2003–2006)
- Gary Ablett (2006–2009)
- John McMahon (2009–2011)
- José Segura (caretaker) (2011)
- Rodolfo Borrell (2011-2012)
- Alex Inglethorpe (2012-2014)
- Michael Beale (2014-)
- The Central League / Premier Reserve League North: 18
- 1956–57, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1999–00, 2007–08
- Lancashire Combination: 2
- 1896–97, 1899–00
- 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
- Lancashire Senior Cup: 11
- 1919, 1920 (shared), 1924, 1931, 1933, 1944, 1947, 1956, 1959, 1973, 2010
- Lancashire League Division Two: 7 
- 1961–62, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1992–93
- FA Youth Cup: 3
- 1996, 2006, 2007
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
Several 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.
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