Liverpool’s ideal situation would be to combine the first team and Academy at the Kirkby base, according to Liverpool’s Academy Director Frank McParland.
The owners, coaching staff and management all agree that a single, unified training facility is the ideal and will strive to make it reality. Speaking at a fan forum event held at the Academy today, Director Frank McParland, Head of Coaching Rodolfo Borrell and U21s Manager Alex Inglethorpe all gave their support to the idea – claiming it would help with the development and ultimately transition of U21 players to the first team.
It has long been a problem at Liverpool that the Academy and First Team training grounds are not combined, leading to the almost complete breakdown of communication between the two facilities under Gerard Houllier.
Currently the situation is much better, Academy and First Team staff meet regularly and players as young as 14 have trained with the first team at Melwood, but it is far from ideal and Brendan Rodgers, FSG and the Academy staff are all enthusiastic about the idea of bringing the two together at the Kirkby base, which has the room to expand into surrounding factory space and wasteland.
Given the huge investment into Melwood in recent years the project is not expected to progress quickly but it is promising that Liverpool are aware of the division and do in future plan to correct it.