England under 20’s kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 2-2 draw last night, captained by Liverpool academy midfielder Conor Coady. Academy reporter Michael Sweeting gives you the lowdown on the 20 year-old Liverpudlian.
Full Name: Conor David Coady
Date of Birth: 25th February 1993
Position: Defensive Midfield
Previous Clubs: N/A
International: England U20
Liverpool U21 captain Conor Coady has had a good season. After earning his first start for Liverpool away to Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League and making his first Premier League appearance as a substitute away to Fulham, he was rewarded with the captaincy of the England U20s for the U20 World Cup ahead of more experienced players such as Gael Bigirimana, Ross Barkley and James Ward-Prowse.
The 2012/13 season has undoubtedly been a massive improvement in fortunes. As he emerged into the reserve team in 2010/11 Coady was earmarked as a potentially excellent talent but his form across 2011/12 was disappointing, he appeared to stagnate and even regress.
The concerns over his form were clearly verbalised to Brendan Rodgers by Academy staff last summer as he chose to leave Coady out of the pre-season tour squad which included a lot of young players.
Whether that omission gave Coady the motivation to push on or not, it is unquestionable that his form improved dramatically this season. After Christmas he was moved to train full time at Melwood which saw another rise in his confidence and form. In total Coady notched three goals in the U21s league, impressive for a defensive midfielder.
Coady is a natural leader, disciplined midfielder and clever passer although he may find his long term future will be damaged by his clear lack of athleticism or pace.
Currently playing in a holding midfield role, he is also capable of playing centre back in a manner not dissimilar to a certain path Jamie Carragher took into the first team. “I know Jamie Carragher did a similar thing by playing in midfield and then moving into defence – if I can do half as well as he has done I’ll be delighted” explained the youngster previously.
For Coady, the next step looks almost certain to be a loan spell. Last season Derby County were credited with an interest but their advances were rejected as the club felt the midfielder could develop better at Liverpool. Having come off the back of a successful campaign it is hard to believe the club would reject a similar advance for Coady who appears to have outgrown the U21s league.
Liverpool debut: vs Anzhi Makhachkala; 8.10.12; Europa League
Premier League debut: vs Fulham [sub]; 12.05.13