Liverpool F.C. Reserves and Academy

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Liverpool Reserves
Liverpool FC.svg
Full name Liverpool Football Club Reserves
Nickname(s) The Young Reds
Founded 1892
Ground Anfield, Liverpool
Langtree Park, St Helens
Deva Stadium, Chester (all U21s)[1]
The Academy, Kirkby (U18s)
Manager Michael Beale (U21s)
Neil Critchley (U18s)
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[2] 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);[3] 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 Jon Flanagan and Jordan Ibe as well as Steven Gerrard, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman, Jamie Carragher and Raheem Sterling.

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[2] 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[6] and maintains a number of football schools worldwide through partnerships with football clubs and commercial and sports organisations.[7] LFC International Football Academy currently has branches in Scandinavia[8] (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Gran Canaria during winter), America[9] (Texas and Plymouth, the latter through an affiliate[10] with CS United Soccer Club), Egypt[11] (Cairo), South Africa[12] (Durban and Johannesburg), China[13] (Guilin), India[14] (Pune, in cooperation with DSK Shivajians), and Japan[15] (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.[7]

Academy squads[edit]

As of 11 January 2015.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

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
35 England DF Kevin Stewart
40 England MF Ryan Kent
41 England FW Jack Dunn
43 Northern Ireland DF Ryan McLaughlin
44 Australia DF Brad Smith
46 England MF Jordan Rossiter
No. Position Player
48 England FW Jerome Sinclair
54 England MF Sheyi Ojo
55 England DF Connor Randall
57 England DF Joe Maguire
58 Republic of Ireland DF Daniel Cleary
68 Spain MF Pedro Chirivella
87 Republic of Ireland DF Conor Masterson

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
36 Germany FW Samed Yeşil (at FC Luzern for the season)[23]
39 Scotland GK Ryan Fulton (at Portsmouth for the season)[24]
49 Wales MF Jordan Williams (at Swindon Town for the season)[25]
51 England DF Lloyd Jones (at Blackpool for the season)[26]
Brazil MF Allan (at Sint-Truidense for the season)[27]
Spain MF Sergi Canós (at Brentford for the season)[28][29]
No. Position Player
Nigeria FW Taiwo Awoniyi (at FSV Frankfurt for the season)[30]
Chile GK Lawrence Vigouroux (at Swindon Town for the season)[31]
England MF Will Marsh (at Sheffield Wednesday on a youth loan until January 31)
Serbia MF Marko Grujić (at Red Star Belgrade for the season)[32]


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 Andrew Firth
England DF Tom Brewitt
England DF Sam Hart
Hungary DF Kristóf Polgár
Republic of Ireland DF Corey Whelan
Nigeria MF Oviemuno Ejaria
No. Position Player
Spain MF Madger Gomes
Republic of Ireland MF Alex O'Hanlon
England MF Adam Phillips
England MF Daniel Trickett-Smith
England MF Matthew Virtue-Thick
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
Republic of Ireland GK Caoimhin Kelleher
England GK Owen Wheeler
Poland GK Kamil Grabara
England DF Josh Dobie
England DF George Johnston
England DF Kane Lewis
Republic of Ireland DF Conor Masterson
England DF Kris Owens
England DF Mich'el Parker
England DF Suleman Naeem
Netherlands MF Bobby Adekanye
No. Position Player
England MF Trent Alexander-Arnold
Australia MF Jake Brimmer
England MF Yan Dhanda
England MF Liam Griffin
England MF Herbie Kane
England MF Callum Nicholas
Portugal MF Paulo Alves
England MF Jack Watts
England MF Harvey Whyte
Wales FW Ben Woodburn
Portugal FW Toni Gomes
United States FW Brooks Lennon


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 DF Joshua Agbozo
England DF Liam Coyle
England DF Liam Collings
England DF Fergus Grogan
England DF Jordan Hunter
England DF Andrew Jackson
England DF Anthony Plant
England DF Thomas Scully
No. Position Player
England MF Rhian Brewster
England MF Elijah Dixon-Bonner
England MF Ethan Dwyer
Wales MF Kieran Holsgrove
England MF Adam Lewis
England MF Luis Longstaff
Republic of Ireland MF Glen McAuley
Northern Ireland MF Reese McGinley
England FW Okera Simmonds


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 [34][35]
2014–15 Carlos Teixeira, JoãoJoão Carlos Teixeira  Portugal Midfielder [36]


*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 over 5 competitive 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. ^ Hunter, Steve (8 July 2015). "U21 fixtures for 2015-16 released". Liverpool F.C. 
  2. ^ a b "Alex Inglethorpe insists it is important for Liverpool FC to bring through local talent". Liverpool Echo. 7 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Reserves Travel – Liverpool FC". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Photos: Jordan's rise through LFC's ranks". Liverpool F.C. 23 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Griffiths, Ian (22 March 2003). "Just for kicks". The Guardian (London). 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ a b "LFC International Academy - International Courses". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Scandinavia". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "LFC International Football Academy America". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "CS United Soccer Club". CS United Soccer Club. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Egypt". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "LFC International Football Academy South Africa". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Guilin". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "LFC International Football Academy DSK Shivajians". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "LFC International Football Academy Japan". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "First Team". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Academy, U21s and U18s". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "UEFA Youth League Liverpool F.C. Squad". UEFA. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Liverpool Under-21s Fixtures and Results (Match Reports)". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "Liverpool Under-18s Fixtures and Results (Match Reports)". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "Liverpool Junior Section". Dale Farm Milk Cup. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Liverpool confirm Ryan Kent recall". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  23. ^ "Yesil makes loan move to Luzern". Liverpool F.C. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Ryan Fulton: Liverpool goalkeeper agrees Portsmouth loan". BBC Sport. 22 January 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  25. ^ Shaw, Chris (10 July 2015). "Williams makes loan move to Swindon". Liverpool F.C. 
  26. ^ "Jones joins Blackpool on loan". Liverpool F.C. 10 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "Allan agrees Sint-Truidense loan switch". Liverpool F.C. 18 January 2016. 
  28. ^ "Canos heads to Brentford on loan". Liverpool F.C. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Sergi Canós extends loan from Liverpool until the end of the season". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  30. ^ "Reds complete signing of Taiwo Awoniyi". Liverpool F.C. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  31. ^ "Swindon loanee returns after coins incident". BBC Sport. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  32. ^ "Reds Complete Marko Grujic dea". Liverpool F.C. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  33. ^ "Dynasty: The Joe Fagan Years 1983-1985". Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  34. ^ "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 
  35. ^ "Rossiter: This prize means the world". Liverpool F.C. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  36. ^ "2015 Players Awards". Official Site Liverpool FC. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 


External links[edit]