It was an afternoon that a host of Reds will not forget in a hurry, with Liverpool’s win over Shrewsbury offering the first taste of competitive Anfield action for five academy players.
With Covid cases, now known to have largely been false positives, Liverpool had to combine both youth and experience to be able to make up the squad to face Shrewsbury.
And an early scare aside after the Shrews opened the scoring, the Reds comfortably secured their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The occasion made for “many really nice little stories,” including Kaide Gordon‘s historic maiden goal, Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Max Woltman’s first start, Melkamu Frauendorf and James Norris’ Anfield debut and Conor Bradley‘s first FA Cup appearance.
Tyler Morton is more of a veteran in comparison now, but the feeling of playing for his boyhood club never dissipates and it was magnified as he started alongside long-time friend and teammate Woltman.
“I was absolutely buzzing, walking out with him at the start,” Morton told LFCTV. “I couldn’t be more proud of him, how we both came up and the opportunity we were given.
“To see him on the pitch with me, and giving him the ball felt a bit mad. We were both buzzing for the win.”
The 18-year-old in question was left with an “unbelievable feeling” after his first start leading the line for the Reds, while Morton also had words of praise for Gordon:
Gordon became the second youngest goalscorer in Liverpool history thanks to his poised left-foot finish and after his competitive Anfield bow, he relished in the feeling as he was inundated with praise:
Dixon-Bonner provided a heartwarming throwback and thanked Liverpool for making his dreams come true, as Frauendorf savoured the feeling and Norris hoped that more opportunities come his way in the future:
The game took Liverpool’s academy debuts this season to seven and was another nod to the talent that is waiting in the wings and ready to follow in the footsteps of Jones, Alexander-Arnold and Harvey Elliott.
When there next opportunity arises remains to be seen, but the Reds have a bright future ahead.