Unbelievably, football remains on the schedule despite it being nearly the end of June and Liverpool’s pre-season starting in a little over two weeks’ time.
Three Reds were in action on Thursday for the opening group game of the U21 Euros, two made the starting XI but for opposite teams.
Curtis Jones started for Lee Carsley’s England, while Vitezslav Jaros was named in goal for Czechia as the two went head to head in the Group C clash.
The Young Lions were initially on the back foot, not that the scoreboard reflected that as England emerged as 2-0 victors thanks to second-half goals from Jacob Ramsey and Emile Smith Rowe.
Both Jones and Jaros played the full 90 minutes for their respective side, while Elliott was introduced in the 89th minute for a brief cameo.
Notably, Jones played the match on the left of a double-pivot in midfield next to Angel Gomes and was heavily involved as England won their first opening game at the U21 Euros since 2009.
“It’s the perfect way to start,” Jones said after the victory. “It’s always good to win your first game.
“We’ve got a team that ability-wise and talent-wise is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s hard to put us all in the team.
“I just get on the ball, I turn and there’s lads there that I can trust on the ball. It’s easy.”
While the perfect start for Jones and Elliott, who will meet Israel next (Sunday), it came at a cost for Jaros who will now be eyeing a victory in Czechia’s second group game against Germany.
It was the first competitive game for the Reds goalkeeper since October having found himself out of favour during his loan at Stockport following a two-month injury.
He is unsure of what is in store for his future but has admitted he is “open to everything.”