Steven Gerrard returning to Liverpool in academy coaching role

20 January 2017 06:24

Steven Gerrard is to return to Liverpool as an academy coach next month, the club have announced.

The 36-year-old, who made 710 appearances for the Merseysiders and is one of the greatest players in the club's history, will take up a full-time, wide-ranging role at the Reds' Kirkby youth complex.

After an 18-month spell in Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the move marks a return to a club where Gerrard spent 17 years as a professional having graduated from the academy.

The former Liverpool and England captain, who retired from football in November, has been a regular presence at the club's academy since ending his playing association with the Reds as he worked on his coaching badges.

"It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began," said Gerrard.

"However, this isn't a decision based on emotion - it's about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool.

"I don't think I need to explain to people what this football club means to me but when I knew coming back was a serious option I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role and a role in which I could really help the organisation.

"Meeting with (academy director) Alex Inglethorpe, seeing the work they are currently doing and want to do in the future at Kirkby, it just felt right. The right option at the right time, for all parties involved.

"This gives me a great opportunity to learn and develop as a coach, while at the same time offering my knowledge, ideas and experience to the young players at an important period of their development."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has consistently stressed the door was always open for the former midfielder - who turned down the chance to move into management with MK Dons in November - to return in some capacity and Inglethorpe believes Gerrard's appointment will prove hugely beneficial for all parties concerned.

"If I was to pick one individual who embodies the characteristics and values we are looking to instil into our organisation at Kirkby it would be Steven Gerrard," said the academy director.

"For him to have been so enthusiastic about being part of what we are looking to do is simply great news for everyone connected to the club.

"I don't think it would surprise anyone to know that Steven has had a host of great options, in terms of what to do next in his career, including playing, management and coaching.

"But it's been evident from the first meeting with him that his heart and head belongs here.

"He has shown great humility in making it clear from the outset he wants a role where he can contribute to Liverpool; it's typical of him that his priority has been defining the role so it helps the club, ahead of himself.

"He has expressed a desire to learn from us and manage a young team. The benefits to us will be immense.

"This is a substantial role and one which makes the academy and the club in general stronger and better."

Source: PA


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