Liverpool add legendary trio to coaching staff

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Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Rob Jones have been brought in to Liverpool's Under-18 and Under-21 squads at their Kirkby Academy.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the experience of three club legends could help the Reds produce more talent of the likes of Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Jordan Ibe.

Alongside head coaches Alex Inglethorpe and Neil Critchley, the trio will assist in 'specialist sessions in their area of expertise.'

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Brendan Rodgers said the plan sould help produce more talented youngsters:

“It’s great to have Robbie, Steve and Rob on board.

“I said at the end of last season that I wanted to get more former players involved and over the off-season I spoke to a number of them about a possible role here.

“For me it’s so important to have players like that around.

“These are players who the young guys look up to.

“The three of them have come in recently and I know they have thoroughly enjoyed having that involvement of working with the kids.

“We’re starting with the older Academy players as they are ones they can really affect at this moment.

“It’s both coaching and mentoring, and Alex Inglethorpe is managing that process.

“At the moment it’s about individual work with the players.

“Steve McManaman is working with the wingers and attacking players, Rob Jones is doing some work with the full-backs and defenders, and Robbie Fowler is obviously working with the strikers.

“They are giving them little pointers and passing on experiences from their own careers to help the youngsters. What we are doing is providing an opportunity for the former players.

“Then further down the line we will see what their interests are in that field.

“The young players coming through are picking up vital bits of information. I’m pleased that it’s working well.”

Rodgers is keen to create a similar method of integrating former players that the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich have - with Arsenal pursuing a similar model:

“Sometimes managers feel the need to distance themselves from players like that but I love what this institution is all about at Liverpool.

“It’s important to retain that connection with the history of the club. I want to protect that great history to ensure these players get the opportunity to be involved at a club they love.

“We lost a true great in Jamie Carragher this summer and you need people around who love the club dearly.

“If you look throughout the club now, we have lots of staff from this area. We have Mike Marsh on the staff with the first team – a local boy who came through and played for the first team.

“Frank McParland, our Academy director, knows the area inside out and guys like that are very important to me in understanding the culture of Liverpool.

“Getting the likes of Robbie, Steve and Rob involved is all part of that. They offer wisdom, they have played at the top level and they also understand what playing for Liverpool Football Club is all about.”

Liverpool have a very good academy already, and with the addition of former players, they hope they can accelerate the progression of several promising young players to the first team.

Liverpool take on Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday, with a win taking the Reds top of the Premier League - one point ahead of table-toppers Arsenal.

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Robbie Fowler
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