Liverpool under-18s are making a flying start under Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, and lifted their pre-season goal tally to 14 in three friendlies with a 4-1 win over Leicester.
Bridge-Wilkinson is looking to follow on seamlessly from the excellent work of Barry Lewtas, as he takes over from the new under-23s manager this summer.
So far, so good, then, as the U18s have produced a perfect run of victories so far in pre-season.
First, it was a 5-0 thrashing of Crewe, followed up by the same scoreline against Huddersfield, with Leicester the latest visitors to Kirkby on Tuesday.
This time around, Bridge-Wilkinson’s side did concede their first goal, but the young Reds made up for it with another emphatic victory.
Tom Hill scored his third and fourth goals of pre-season as he shapes up to take a key role with the U18s this season, both times finding himself in the right place to fire home from a cutback.
After his hat-trick against Crewe, Layton Stewart also added another, while left-back Luke Chambers inadvertently got his name on the scoresheet when his cross drifted straight into the back of the net.
Jakub Ojrzynski saved a penalty in the first half, but substitute goalkeeper Harvey Davies was beaten by another late on in the only blot in Liverpool’s copybook so far this pre-season.
It is as yet unknown when the U18s will begin their season proper, but the hope is they will be back in competitive action by the end of the month.
With seven different goalscorers already this summer, including Stewart and Hill both on four and new signings Mateusz Musialowski and Melkamu Frauendorf also netting, it is an encouraging start for the youngsters.
Liverpool have been consistently strong at U18 level in recent years, and that is a testament to the strong stream of talent flowing through the age groups, both in terms of players and coaches.
That Bridge-Wilkinson has been able to make such a positive start, with many of his players stepping up with him from the under-16s, is a brilliant sign for 2020/21.
It has been similarly impressive for Lewtas and the U23s, too, with a 2-2 draw with The New Saints followed up by 4-1 win over League Two side Carlisle and, most recently, a 3-1 victory over Derby’s academy side.
Paul Glatzel and Jack Bearne have stood out so far, with Lewtas’ new-look attack meshing well ahead of the new campaign.