By Scott Taylor
Ryan Fulton is the latest player to be profiled in the ‘Who Is…’ series. Fulton is another talented youngster that is playing in the club’s Under 21s side, but is still eligible to play for the club’s Under-18 side. Here’s the lowdown on the player.
Originally from Burnley, Fulton signed for Liverpool as an Under-10, where he has been at the club ever since. He was picked up by the Reds scouting network when playing for Brunlea FC and was consequently offered a two-and-a-half week trial. With Danny Ward’s promotion to the first team squad this season, he is competing with summer signing Lawrence Vigouroux for the number 1 spot in Michael Beale’s Under 21 side.
To show how highly Liverpool rated him, they offered him a scholarship at the age of 15, but players aren’t able to start their scholarship until they are 16. When he was 16 however, he made his debut for the Under-18s in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in September 2012. After shrugging off competition from Tyrell Belford and Ryan Crump, both of who have now left Liverpool, Fulton established himself as the Under-18s first choice goalkeeper.
In the 30 games in that season, Fulton featured in 23 of them, showing his dominance between the posts. On top of that, the Scot played three times for the Under-19s squad in the NextGen Series (now the UEFA Youth League, where he has made five appearances this season). At the end of the 2012-13 season, Fulton was awarded with a professional contract being one of only four players to have deals offered to them.
Last season was more frustrating for Fulton. Due to a hand injury, Fulton played only three games for the Under-18s, and four for the Under-21s. In addition to his injuries, he was deemed too good for the Under-18s, but not quite good enough to play regularly in the Under-21s, hence the lack of game time.
Fulton is also a full international, and plays for Scotland’s Under-19 side, where he played for two seasons now. He has made a combined total of five appearances in the UEFA Under-19 Championship for his country over the course of the two seasons, featuring three times this year and two times last year.
With Vigouroux and Fulton swapping the duties for the Under-21s, Liverpool are no way short of goalkeeping options, but with Fulton being just 18 years of age, that will be on his side and Liverpool could be seeing a talented goalkeeper break through into the first-team.