Liverpool have traditionally had a successful academy. Ballon d’Or winner Michael Owen came through the Reds’ youth, as did Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, the best right back in the world also came from the setup. There are early signs this summer that Jürgen Klopp’s dream for a team full of Scousers may come true – the youth sides have been rampant this summer.
Barry Lewtas has made the step up from the U18s to coach the U23s this season following the departure of Neil Critchley to Blackpool.
The U23s have been impressive during pre-season, even though they have only played two friendlies they have been assured in both fixtures with important goals from key players.
To kick off their preparations the U23s beat Nottingham Forest 2-1. Liam Millar and Abdi Sharif grabbed the goals with Paul Glatzel providing the assist for Liam Millar.
Lewatas’ side then thrashed Huddersfield 4-0. Despite the game being goalless until Glatzel’s 74th minute penalty, the Reds were by far the stronger side and that was reflected in the final scoreline.
U18s running wild
The U18s have been in fine fettle this summer, putting together a string of convincing wins ahead of the new season.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side hammered Crewe Alexandra and Huddersfield Town, picking up back to back 5-0 victories.
The teenagers then put together back to back 4-1 wins over Leicester City and Manchester United.
The form of Tom Hill and Layton Stewart has given particular cause for excitement.
Team full of Scousers
Jürgen Klopp once joked that it is his dream to have a team full of Scousers.
Given the encouraging signs we are seeing from the academy his dream may well come true in future.
FSG want the club to be as self-sustainable as possible, promoting from within the club is a key step towards that.
In the next couple of years we could see the appointment of Vitor Matos and the recruitment of youngsters from abroad start to pay dividends.