Steven Gerrard explains why he began coaching career at academy level

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Watch Jurgen Klopp and Steven Gerrard in conversation in the manager’s room at Melwood, discussing the former captain’s beginnings in coaching.

The video features Klopp and Gerrard discussing why they went into coaching, the demands of the role, managing expectations and working with different groups of players.

Explaining why he opted to move into coaching, Gerrard said: “It was about trying it. We had numerous conversations and I asked Jurgen a lot of questions about what it was like.

“He spoke about his experiences. It was all about the next two years to go and sample it, try it and see what it is like. He gave me the pros and the cons, and gave me invaluable advice moving forward.”

Interestingly, Gerrard explains why he opted to begin his coaching career at the Reds’ academy, rather than take up more high-profile roles elsewhere:

“I’m enjoying the role and making loads of mistakes, but they’re off-camera – which is what he suggested was the best move. Now that I’ve experienced it, that was certainly the right move from the beginning.

“I’m just trying to grow and learn and get used to a completely different role – and completely different job – to being a player. That has been the most eye-opening thing for me, how different it is to being a player.

“Now I’ve got more respect for managers and coaches; I used to think I was the best coach and manager in the world when I was a player. ‘What are you doing that session for? Why are you doing this?’

“Now, I apologise for all that and I realise how much of a difficult job it is for any coach or manager, because it’s a completely different ball game.”

Gerrard, who began his work at the academy in January last year before moving to Under-18s manager in the summer, says he’s learnt and learning a lot in the new job, and is often calling on Klopp for advice.

However, as Gerrard notes, it’s not always about replicating what the first-team are doing.

“The other thing as well is that it’s about personnel,” explains Gerrard. “I might say to my kids, ‘we have to play the Jurgen Klopp way’ but I haven’t got Jurgen Klopp’s players.

“I’ve got different players with different styles. You have to find out about the individual, their strengths and weaknesses and then play a way that suits those people.

“I don’t think it’s fair to ask some of my kids to run like Mane or do what Firmino does, because they’re already ready to be top players. But it’s a fascinating job because you learn so much every day about players.”

Gerrard has enjoyed a good start to his coaching career with the Under-18s this season, reaching the UEFA Youth League quarter-finals.

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