Football

New deals for Reds youngsters

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Liverpool are planning to offer new contracts to two of their most promising home-grown stars.

Jay Spearing, a combative midfielder, and full-back Stephen Darby are both approaching the final year of their current deals and will be handed new ones soon.

Spearing, 20, captained the FA Youth Cup winning side in 2007 while Darby - also 20 and a Youth Cup winner - skippered the reserves to the national title last season.

For Spearing it is a reward for steady progress after first-team captain Steven Gerrard took him under his wing.

Spearing came on as a substitute in the Champions League victory over Real Madrid at Anfield, to a remarkable ovation from the Kop who instantly sung his name, much to the shock of the youngster.

He said: "I will never forget it. I was actually running towards the Kop when they started singing my name.

"I had to stop for a second to listen and make sure it was actually happening."

Gerrard has offered advice and encouragement to the youngster, saying: "I was delighted for Jay because I think a few people will have been surprised by the way he performed after coming on against Real Madrid but I wasn't one of them.

"First of all, you have to give credit to the manager for giving a young player a chance in such a big game and Jay certainly did not let him down.

"I see him in training all the time and he has got a good touch, he passes the ball well and he keeps things simple and it was good to see him show what he is all about in a game like this. He certainly will not let anyone down if he is given more chances in the future."

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Topics:
Stephen Darby
European News
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard
Jay Spearing
Liverpool

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