Steven Gerrard’s new job as manager of Liverpool’s under-18s side has gotten underway and it’s safe to say he’s hugely excited about it.
Pre-season training for Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool Under-18s side began on Monday at the club’s Academy complex.
The Liverpool legend welcomed his squad back to Kirkby as they endured a day of fitness assessments and tests before they get out on the pitch to start ball work on Tuesday.
“It’s exciting. I’d been waiting for this all through the summer and had one eye on it while I’ve been having a bit of a break. It’s here now and I’m really excited about getting my teeth into it,” Gerrard told the club’s official website.
“95 percent of the planning was done at the back end of last year. I did a lot of planning with Alex (Inglethorpe), he’s been a big help for me to get sorted for today. I feel ready, we’re organised and I’ve got fantastic staff around me. We just can’t wait for the first game of the season now.”
Gerrard was joined by his new backroom staff, including Jordan Milsom from the first-team set-up at Melwood. Stevie was keen to bring Milsom in and work alongside him again having worked closely with him during his own Liverpool career.
“Having dealt with him in my own rehabilitations, how fit he had me in the gym, how good I felt going onto the pitch and what he is like as a person as well, I think he’ll be really good for the lads.
“I said to them this morning, lean on him and use him. When I was a full-time apprentice at Liverpool, I think we had two or three staff – these lads have got experts in every field now to use.
“They’re very lucky and they need to use these people to make sure they’re in the best shape they can be in come the first game of the season.”
Long-term friend Tom Culshaw is also a part of Gerrard’s backroom team, having been promoted from the U15 setup. The pair have known each other since childhood, having met during both their time at the Reds Academy.
“Alex said when we first started talking about this that it’d be new for me and it was a big job and a big role,” said Gerrard.
“I realised that and so he was keen on putting an assistant next to me, someone who I trusted and who had my back.”
Finally, analyst Scott Mason and goalkeeping coach Neil Edwards complete the team.
“Because me, Tommy and Jordan are new, we felt it was important we had a few staff who are used to this group and this age group to help us. We’re all going to be bouncing off each other. We became a team today and hopefully we can stay together for a long time.”
The Reds legend will navigate numerous pre-season friendlies with his side in the upcoming weeks and the prospect of following them up with competitive action in August is what’s excited him the most.
“We’ve got six or seven pre-season friendlies in place that we’re looking forward to,” he said. “That’s important for us to try different formations, systems, get used to individuals and try them in different places in the team.”
“But everyone, including the players as well, has got an eye on August and we can’t wait for that first game. Hopefully, it’ll be a home fixture and we can get off to a winning start.”