Michael Beale, the coach of the Liverpool Under 21s, has hinted that the club may set up a partnership with another Football League club in order to develop the clubs’ younger players. In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, he said: “If we could get our players to one club, rather than six or seven, and know how that club works, then that would probably be beneficial. Swindon have an interesting project at the moment with Tottenham. That would be a move in the right direction.”
He is frustrated by the format of the Under 21 Premier League, and believes it would put the players in greater stead in the future if they are to be playing against Football Leagues sides rather than Under 21 teams. Beale expressed his annoyance but admitted that he may not be able to do that will every youngster at the Academy. Beale said: “But we have a lot of teams and no-one wants to lose their place (in the Football League).”
However, he believes change is needed, because the players aren’t getting the attention and support that they deserve to really showcase their talents, and he believes that the development side should play all their games in one fixed location.
“The under-21 league is too sporadic and it is hard for the local fans to get an affinity with the 21s because we don’t play in the same place. We’ll either play at Langtree Park, or Anfield or here at the Academy.”
He ended the interview by slating the current setup at Under 21 level, especially with the inconsistencies involved with playing games, and thinks this may be the reason why players become further developed in other leagues across Europe.
He said: ” It is not a fixture list that is set in stone and games can move in less than a weeks’ notice. In Spain, Holland and Germany they have a huge advantage over us at that last part of the development between 17s and 21s. It is hurting us but I don’t know the full answer.”
The full interview can be found here: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/liverpool-fc-under-21s-coach-michael-8107591