Liverpool have finalised changes to their academy set-up which they hope will improve the flow of players into the first team squad.
The emergence of teenagers John Flanagan and Jack Robinson into Kenny Dalglish’s side, plus the performance of the under-18s this season, has shown what potential talent there is within the club and a reshuffle at Kirkby aims to improve the process further.
Academy director Frank McParland has become director of academy and player development, with additional responsibility for overseeing all reserve team matters.
“It’s part of the club ethos to actively develop the people we already have in place and I’m delighted we have been able to promote so many different individuals from within the academy,” he said.
“We’ve looked at the best way of integrating these different functions within the club as part of our overall vision on how we should operate and also how we identify the right type of players to bring through to the first team.”
Technical director Pep Segura has signed a new contract, with an extension of his duties to include technical development of the reserves.
The vacancy left by departure of John McMahon as reserve team manager in March has been filled by under-18s coach Rodolfo Borrell, with his position taken by under-16s coach Mike Marsh and Steve Cooper promoted to academy manager and under-16 coach, while also promoted to academy manager.
Stuart Webber, previously senior national scout, has been promoted to director of recruitment.
“Real progress has been made this season and this has been reflected in the recognition given to our young academy players – both at senior level within the club and also on the international football stage,” said director of football Damien Comolli.
“But we have put a considerable amount of time and effort into thinking about what we need going forward and these changes reflect our desire to constantly improve the way we work.
“Stability is a key part of this process and the quality of the people already working at the academy has been reflected in the number of internal promotions we have made.
“We’ve considered both the technical development of the boys at Kirkby and the way our scouting of youngsters in the first place fits into the club’s overall recruitment policy.”