The team introduces itself

Liverpool Academy players are based at Kirkby on Merseyside and at elite youth level are divided into groups representing the U18 age group and the U21s. The U21s share the AXA Training Centre with Jurgen Klopp’s men’s first team while the U18s are based a few football pitches away in the original Academy building.

They compete in their respective Premier League age group leagues with the U21s having enjoyed a particularly strong year in 2022/23.

Overall they are guided by Academy manager Alex Ingelthorpe who recently brought up a decade with the club and signed a new long-term contract earlier this season. It will be a combination of the U18 group and those U21s who still meet the age range which will represent the club at the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup at the intermediate U19 level. This is not an unfamiliar situation as the club regularly competes as an U19 group in the UEFA Youth League where they have enjoyed strong campaigns in recent years. In the current season they reached the quarter final stage after winning five games out of six at the group stages where they played Napoli, Ajax and Glasgow Rangers.

A last 16 win over Porto followed before a narrow defeat to Sporting Club Lisbon ended their progression at the last eight stage in March.

Several players caught the eye during the season and have gone on to make appearances for the first team as a result.

Winger Ben Doak has proved an exciting addition to the club since joining from Glasgow Celtic in the summer of 2022.

A quick, direct wide player he has made five first team appearances, the first just days before his 17th birthday, as well as receiving international recognition from Scotland U21s.

Bobby Clark joined the club as a 16-year-old from Newcastle United, the club where his father Lee made his name as a Premier League footballer.

A versatile player he can operate across the front line and in midfield, earning two appearances with Jurgen Klopp’s first team this season.

Another player with the DNA for success is Lewis Koumas, a striker who was firing in goals at the start of the season before interruption by injury. His father Jason is a former Premier League player and Welsh international.

Melkamu Frauendorf is a wide player whose intense work rate makes him difficult for defences to contain, a factor in earning him two first team appearances so far.  

Born in Ethiopia, he is a German national who has represented his country at several youth levels.

The U19 squad will be led at Blue Stars by coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson who has been at Liverpool since 2015 and became manager of the U18 team in 2020. In his first year he led the team to the final of the FA Youth Cup, the most prestigious youth competition in England. A creative midfielder as a player, Bridge-Wilkinson made almost 400 appearances in the English Football League during a successful career.

Founding Year