Academy and junior players

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Postby Reg » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:23 am

Liverpool introduce youth wage cap to halt 'too much, too young' culture

Liverpool will pay no more than £40,000 a year to their 17-year-old first season professionals
Chris Bascombe

13 OCTOBER 2016 • 12:00AM
Liverpool have introduced an Academy wage cap in an effort to combat the ‘too much, too young’ culture in English football.

Teenagers are being lured to join the biggest Premier League clubs with huge financial incentives but the Merseyside club has decided it will no longer pay more than a basic salary of £40,000 a year to their 17-year-old first season professionals.

That will increase with bonuses such as Under 23 appearances and first team promotions at Anfield or while on loan in the lower divisions.

Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur have enforced a similar policy, which the Premier League would welcome across the country.

Despite the lure of wealthy clubs elsewhere – the North West catchment area makes it one of the most competitive in world football – Liverpool are adamant the shift will serve the interests of those who want a route to the first team more than massive pay days in their teenage years. It is believed some of the wealthiest Premier League clubs are trying to entice players as young as 16 with contracts worth £11,000 a week.

With the support of manager Jurgen Klopp, Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe is also reducing numbers to favour quality over quantity in different age groups.

Both Klopp and Inglethorpe are also against Football Association advice discouraging Academy players from playing grassroots football for their school or local sides. Liverpool are actively encouraging their youngsters to play as much football as they can outside their Academies.

It is Klopp’s commitment to creating a pathway between Liverpool’s Academy and Melwood that is giving the club confidence they can ensure sporting rather than financial motivations are prioritised.

“I've always been at clubs for the long-term so when I see a 16-year-old player who is good, I can always wait for him,” said Klopp.

“I can promise that before we sign a player who isn't a lot better than what we already have, we will always use our own boys. That's how the future should be, even in the crazy football transfer world. We want to be this special club.

“That's why I am really interested in the talent groups and all these boys. We have created a situation where all these boys see a real perspective. That's very important. They need to know that there is a way through.”

Liverpool’s golden period of Academy football is considered the early 90s, when Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard emerged as world-class internationals.There has been a dearth of home-grown talent in the 20 years since, but Klopp is determined to ensure there will be no lack of opportunity while he is Liverpool’s manager.

Inglethorpe has brought back Liverpool legend Steve Heighway and former youth coach Dave Shannon – both regularly namechecked by Gerrard, Owen and Carragher as pivotal figures in their development years.

“We have these wonderful stories of boys coming to the club at the age of seven and staying here and playing for the club as a professional,” said Klopp. “Maybe for the Scouse people around that doesn't happen often enough.

“There are other examples where a club couldn't wait long enough. That's not a criticism. Sometimes you think the next step won't come with a player. Then he changes club and it's like: 'Oh yes, there's the next step' and you think: 'Oh my God, why didn't we wait?'

“I worked as a youth coach when I was very young. I got a team to manage and after one year the sports director came to me and asked me how many new players do you want for next year?

"I said: 'I don't want new players.' He said: 'Always take new players, the best from other clubs.'

"But I said I wasn't interested. I wanted to keep that team and work with them.

"You need scouting, of course. You need to have the best talents as much as possible, but I don't know the way to find out which 10-year-old boy will really go through. It's much too early at that age.

“I'd always say: 'Stay in your club, don't travel a lot, focus on your education. Just play football because it's the best game in the world, it's fun and play as often as you can.'

“It's better playing football 20 times a week in school than training three times a week with other players.”

Klopp says he would also prefer Liverpool’s youth and first team to train at one site, although that brings logistical issues. It would require a revamp of the Academy at Kirkby or locating a new site for development.

“It would be easier,” said Klopp.  “You wouldn't need to drive between two different places.”
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Postby parchpea » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:50 pm

Young left back Joe Maguire has left the club to join Fleetwood Town on a permanent deal.
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Postby parchpea » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:06 pm

Cameron Branggan joined Fleetwood on loan until end of season, thats 2 in from academy including McGuire so keep an eye on Brannagan.
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Postby parchpea » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:37 am

One sub appearence and two starts but hooked for Brannagan who is finding L1 a tough environment early in his loan spell at Fleetwood.

Hes a small boy in a mans league and needs to toughen up, this is why hes been loaned, development football is a poor arena to learn how to play in a mans game.

Reports are Cameron will be released by Liverpool at the end of this season so in a way hes auditioning for his next club during his time at Fleetwood.

In broader terms I wonder if the clubs policy to put a cap on development wages is hampering the quality in reserve, if you out a £4k limit on it the best boys will go elsewhere simple as that.
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Postby parchpea » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:29 pm

Reading we are under investigation for tapping up a lad from Stoke and to make matters worse leaving the family in debt after we went back on our word to pay his school fees, real mess.

Possible we could be hit with an academy transfer ban and a fine, I know clubs can treat these kids like dirt but we should be better than this and bad publicity wont bring the best talent here.
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Postby RED BEERGOGGLES » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:17 pm

Rhian Brewster scored one and set up the other two as the young reds came back from 1 down to win 1-3 away at Leicester
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Postby parchpea » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:27 pm

Cameron Brannagan had a good game for Fleetwood yesterday, he started and played the full game which he hasnt done since he started the loan.

Hes bulked up as development football is no preparation for League 1,and though the season is close to an end has a chance to impress for Fleetwood in the playoffs in front of the cameras. Like a lot of lads in his position they roll up assuming it will be relatively easy until reality hits home, I feel that penny has dropped for Cameron now and hes manned up. Hes got all the attributes to have good career.

Be surprised if Liverpool offer him a new deal, may be wrong, but Im sure he can carve out a successful career in League 1 or Championship for now and try to work his way up the ladder that way.

Joe McGuire is one from the academy who transferred to Fleetwood, looked decent at times but hes an understudy for now but next season will be a big one for him if as expected the current left back moves on.
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Postby RED BEERGOGGLES » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:28 pm

Liverpool u23's beat Man City 3-2 with an assist and a  brace from motm Woodburn,  Matty Virtue scored the third
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Postby bunglemark2 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:30 pm

Did I read somewhere that Gareth Bale is supposed to have told RM to sign Woodburn? Sounds flaky...
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Postby parchpea » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:17 pm

I havent read the whole piece but a Gerrard article today reports he feels the academy players lack physicality and there is too much showboating, something he as a coach is keen to address.

Having seen more than my share of young players from Liverpool and elsewhere roll up in L1 and L2 on loan I absolutely concur with this, far too much emphasis in academies on the technical side and positional flexibility.

These young guys are just muscled out and battered by streetwise pros, Brannagan who I mentioned earlier in thread is an example, and I whole heartedly agree with Gerrard.

He's definitely being fast tracked at Anfield, no doubt hes the service behind him but probably few noses out of joint as its only natural.
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