MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 25, 2019: Liverpool's Under-18 manager Barry Lewtas celebrates with the trophy after the FA Youth Cup Final match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the Academy Stadium. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 extra-time draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool promote from within as new U23s and U18s managers confirmed

Liverpool have confirmed the promotion of Barry Lewtas to under-23s manager, with Marc Bridge-Wilkinson therefore making the step up to take over with the under-18s.

The Reds have been searching for a replacement Neil Critchley since his surprise departure to assume the vacant managerial role at Blackpool in March.

Critchley had been U23s manager since 2017, and led the first team into the FA Cup and League Cup earlier this season in the absence of Jurgen Klopp, proving a popular figure during his time at the club.

His exit prompted speculation over a host of potential names filling his position at Kirkby, including an unlikely return for Steven Gerrard.

But Liverpool have opted to promote from within, with former U18s manager Lewtas moving up an age group to follow Critchley’s pathway into the U23s setup.

Lewtas is a hugely accomplished young coach who has made great strides with the U18s over the past two seasons, as well as leading the under-19s in the UEFA Youth League.

His appointment as U23s manager should aid the players also following the same trajectory, as the likes of Leighton Clarkson, Jake Cain, Paul Glatzel, Abdi Sharif and Vitezslav Jaros have all been regulars under Lewtas in the past.

BURY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 6, 2019: Liverpool's Under-18 manager Barry Lewtas and Yasser Larouci before the FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final match between Bury FC and Liverpool FC at Gigg Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With the ex-Wigan and Bolton coach stepping up, his position with the U18s has been filled by Bridge-Wilkinson, who had been serving as under-16s manager.

It is a natural progression that suits all parties, with managers leading their players through the age groups while cutting their teeth from a coaching perspective.

Like Critchley, Lewtas may be priming himself for a future role as a first-team manager, and it is a likelihood that Jurgen Klopp embraces, saying in March that is “exactly how it should be.”

Liverpool still have a number of other positions to fill, most notably head of medical services, following Andy Massey’s move to a role with FIFA earlier this year.