Hello and Welcome to Kirkby Revisited, a show where I review all the latest news from Liverpool’s Academy from the past week. Some reviews may be long, some reviews may be short, it all depends on what has happened in that week.
Mukendi Leaves the Club
Liverpool youngster Henoc Mukendi left the club by mutual consent on Monday after 7 years with the Reds. He announced his departure on his official Twitter page, thanking all the supporters and staff for their support since 2007. Mukendi, originally from Congo, found appearances few and far between and as a result had two loan spells. However, both loan spells were unsuccessful and the club decided it will be best for both club and the player if he left. The youngster was on loan at Northampton Town and more recently Partick Thistle.
Sokolik signs for Southend
Liverpool Under 21 youngster Jakub Sokolik has joined League Two side Southend United on a youth loan deal until the end of the season. The Czech defender has found in hard to consolidate his place in the Under 21 side since his move from Banik Ostrava in 2009 so the loan deal would be an ideal opportunity for the centre-back to get some valuable game time. The 20 year old is also out of contract in the Summer and with injuries to a few Southend defenders, Sokolik will want to earn a contract with Phil Browns’ side.
Under 18s suffer Youth Cup Heartache
Neil Critchley’s Liverpool Under 18s suffered back-to-back defeats in what seemed to be a miserable week for the young Reds. Firstly, Liverpool travelled to Reading in the FA Youth Cup Quarter Final on Wednesday and it was the most entertaining match of the season. After numerous waves of Liverpool attacks, Reading countered and were 2-0 up as 80 minutes approached but two very late goals from Jordan Williams and Jordan Rossiter sent the game into extra-time. The game turned full circle when Liverpool went two goals clear thanks to Daniel Trickett-Smith and Harry Wilson but this time Reading scored two very late goals in the second half of extra time to send this extraordinary cup tie to penalties. In the penalty shoot-out, Cameron Brannagan was the only player to miss a penalty as the Reds crashed out in unfortunate circumstances.
Under 21s held by Blackburn
Liverpool Under 21s played a weakened side when they faced Blackburn under the lights at Kirkby on Friday. Blackburn, who are rock bottom of the Under 21s league took a well deserved lead after dominating the first half. However, Liverpool rescued a point when Brad Smith’s cross caused an own goal as the Reds were restricted to just a point.
Bolton shock Liverpool Under 18s
Liverpool Under 18s tried to bounce back from their FA Youth Cup defeat when they face 8th placed Bolton who have lost 14 out of 25 games this season. After many of the Under 18s squad being involved with the Under 21s the night before, Critchley was forced to rotate and play a much weaker side. As a result, 3rd placed Liverpool were simply outplayed a suffered a 4-2 defeat. The positive news is that goals from Dahrius Waldron and Sheyi Ojo moved the Under 18s goal tally to 82 this season in all competitions.
Thanks for taking the time to read this weekly feature on my blog, and for more content on Liverpool’s Under 21s and Under 18s then simply keep an eye out on the blog http://www.thenextgenkopites.wordpress.com. Finally, for more day-to-day Academy updates on all things Liverpool FC, then be sure to follow me on Twitter (@ScottTaylorUK).