Liverpool’s move to the new Kirkby training facility united the first-team and academy under one roof and a senior presence is already seeing many sense an opportunity.
After more than 70 years at Melwood, the Reds moved to their new state-of-the-art facility in Kirkby back in November which saw the senior side and academy link up for the very first time.
The two are divided to ensure their remains a visual pathway for those in the academy to Jurgen Klopp‘s side, but that they are within reaching distance has opened up a number of doors.
“The relationship with the academy will be as close as ever, and that’s really good,” the boss said late last year and the chance for any member of the first-team, player or staff, to oversee the happenings of the academy keeps many youngsters on their toes.
Dominic Corness is one such player. The 17-year-old, who recently signed his first professional contract, spoke of being consistently aware that anyone can be watching sessions and games as he touched on who he looks up to.
“Obviously, he plays for the first team and that’s just the level you want to try to get to. I just try to get on the ball as much as I can. I’ve always liked the way Thiago played.
“He came from Barca as well, so he automatically had that side of football where he just has the ball as much as he can and tries to play.
“I haven’t seen him knocking about Kirkby yet, but with the new campus it’s an opportunity every time you train now because you don’t know who’s watching. So you’ve just got to make every session the best you can because you never know what’s going to happen.”
There is still a ways to go for Corness in his hopes to “get close and around the first team” but he has shown the promise to do just that.
The midfielder, who has earned the nickname ‘The Wand’ thanks to his brilliant left-foot, has two goals and eight assists to his name for the under-18s this season.
And that he has the added motivation and inspiration from the first team’s move to Kirkby speaks volumes about how imperative it was to unite the academy and senior set up.