Liverpool academy players return for pre-season – with new coach starting first day

While Jurgen Klopp‘s first team will not start their preparations for the new season until next week, the academy players returned on Monday – and a new coach got his first day in the job.

After a relentless 2021/22 campaign, a summer break was much deserved by all but the new season is now nearly upon us and that makes for pre-season training.

The first team schedule is to see Liverpool contest at least six games before they travel to Fulham for the season opener, with Klopp expected to turn to a number of academy players.

Last year, the likes of Leighton Clarkson, Kaide Gordon, Owen Beck, Tyler Morton, Jake Cain and Conor Bradley seized their chance and others will hope to do the same this time around.

And the academy players have a head start, returning to Kirkby on Monday with their own pre-season friendlies to be on the billing ahead of both the under-21s and under-18s seeing their season get underway.

Former midfielder Jay Spearing is also to play his role this summer having joined the club in a dual player/coach role, combining game time with the U21s with full-time coaching for the U18s.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 29, 2020: Tranmere Rovers' Jay Spearing during the EFL Trophy Northern Group D match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Prenton Park. Tranmere Rovers won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 33-year-old welcomed a “new chapter” – that started in typical English rain despite it being summer, offering a cool start to the new season for all at the academy.

Harvey Blair, one of seven academy debutants last season, was one of the young Reds to post his return to Kirkby on Instagram, ready to get “back to business.”

Barry Lewtas and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson oversee the U21s and U18s respectively and were also said to be joined by Pep Lijnders on Monday, with the assistant manager always keeping a close eye on the emerging talent.

And his keen eye could see a handful drafted into first-team training next week.