By Scott Taylor
Daniel Lavercombe and Regan Poole have been handed trials by Premier League side Liverpool. Lavercombe, 18, and Poole, 16, will both spend a week training with the Reds at Melwood before the clubs makes a decision on whether they will sign the duo. Lavercombe will provide depth in the goalkeeping department due to the departure of Brad Jones, whilst Poole will provide some much needed quality to the Under-18s defence.
Lavercombe has come through the youth-team setup at Conference side Torquay United, and made his debut in the Gulls’ 2-0 defeat at Aldershot Town on 6 April. Lavercombe signed a professional contracts with his side last month, and kept three clean sheets in the final five games of the 2014/15 season. Lavercombe’s rise to the first-team squad only came because Torquay’s previous number two, Jordan Seabright, quit football to pursue a career in sales. He will join the Reds’ Academy players in a end of season tour with the Under-18s side.
Torquay manager Chris Hargreaves has told reporters that the move is only a temporary one at the moment, and he believes that the trial will benefit both his side and Liverpool.
He told the club website: “We’re not talking about a permanent move for Dan, at least not yet. Liverpool have had him watched and like him, and they asked us if they can have a closer look at him. It’s a win-win situation for us. The worst that can happen is that Dan gets more good experience, a bit of Liverpool FC rubs off on him and he comes back to us better for it. We also set up a relationship between Torquay and Liverpool which may help us in the future.”
Poole has been training with the Reds in recent weeks, but there has been no formal offer for the defender. Poole is a Wales Under-17 international and has had interest from both Fulham and Manchester United, but moves to both of those clubs broke down at a very late stage. He made his debut for Newport County this season, in doing so becoming the youngest ever player to feature at 16 years and 94 days old. He went on to play 12 games for the Exiles this season as his side narrowly missed out on the play-offs.
Like Lavercombe, Poole has travelled with the Liverpool Under-18s for the end of season tour, but County manager Terry Butcher wants his player to stay put for now so that they can develop him. He said: “Young players in particular need to play and play at the highest level they possibly can. Regan’s had a good taste of first-team football with Newport County and he’s done very well and there’s still a lot to do with him. He’s a good prospect, he’s a good boy and hopefully he’ll play his football here at Rodney Parade and we can progress him.”