Liverpool have ‘promoted’ one of their longest-serving coaches for pre-season

With two of Arne Slot‘s coaching staff absent for the start of pre-season, Liverpool have brought in one of their longest-serving coaches for sessions at the AXA.

Pre-season has begun at the AXA Training Centre, but Slot is still without a large part of his new-look backroom staff.

The appointment of elite development coach Aaron Briggs was reported on Monday, while talks are ongoing with Johnny Heitinga over a job as first-team coach.

And while Slot has been ably supported by assistant Sipke Hulshoff and lead physical performance coach Ruben Peeters – along with existing staff from Jurgen Klopp‘s tenure – there are two other absentees.

Fabian Otte (Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News)

Those are head of goalkeeping Fabian Otte and goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel, who are yet to report back due to their roles at Copa America.

Otte, who is a new appointment at Liverpool, held a position with the United States national team, while Taffarel is part of the Brazil staff.

While the US have already been knocked out of a tournament they are hosting, Otte was not present to coach Caoimhin Kelleher, Marcelo Pitaluga, Fabian Mrozek and Harvey Davies at the start of pre-season.

Instead, Liverpool have brought up U21s goalkeeping coach Mark Morris to help out with sessions at the AXA, making the short trip across from the academy facility.

Part of the staff since 2009!

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 2, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeping coach Mark Morris (C) with goalkeepers Marcelo Pitaluga (L) and Adrián San Miguel del Castillo (R) during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Morris is among the club’s longest-serving staff – and perhaps the longest-tenured in terms of coaches – having joined in 2009.

The 55-year-old represented Wrexham as a player in the 1980s and 90s, before joining their coaching staff, while he has also held positions with Chester, Hereford and Stockport as well as in the Wales and Northern Ireland youth setups.

While initially coach with the U18s, Morris is now the lead goalkeeping coach for Liverpool’s highest academy age group.

This experience has led him to be called up to help out at first-team level on a number of occasions in the past, including during an outbreak of COVID-19 in 2022 that saw Taffarel, John Achterberg and Jack Robinson all unable to work.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 29, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher (R) and goalkeeping coach John Achterberg during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Liverpool FC and LASK. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

His involvement now comes with both Achterberg and Robinson having left the club this summer, while Adrian – who holds a UEFA B Licence and could therefore take sessions – has also departed to join Real Betis.

Liverpool have seen former goalkeeper Andy Firth, who had been coaching within the academy, take up a position alongside Achterberg in Steven Gerrard‘s staff at Al-Ettifaq.

Otte is likely to link up with the Liverpool staff in the coming days, though the club will have granted the 33-year-old time off, as with the players on international duty this summer.