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It's All About the Kids...

As Liverpool Football Club bring in a new goalkeeping prospect on loan, the academy kids continue to impress.

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Clint Hughes

With many fans starting to ponder the divisive issue of Pepe Reina's form, we awoke this morning to the news that Liverpool Football Club have offered a trial to an 18 year old Danish goalkeeper. The fabulously named Kevin Ray Mendoza Hansen is currently the reserve team 'keeper at Viborg in the Danish First Division.

The young Dane is pragmatic about the opportunity, which will see him train with the club Thursday, Friday and Saturday, ahead of potentially featuring in a Reserves game on Sunday. "It's a trial", he told Danish media. "I am not raising expectations too high. I do not mind if more comes from it, but I am taking it all as it comes." This seems quite an admirable display of level-headedness from a teenager getting such a massive opportunity.

It's surely no coincidence that the man ahead of Hansen in Viborg's first team is ex- LFC reserve Martin Hansen. Is this an indication that our scouting team has tapped a new resource in the search for talent? The ex-player network perhaps? If that is the case, then for Fowler's sake, somebody call Ryan Babel!

Elsewhere, Steve Cooper's U-18s are preparing for an FA Youth Cup fourth round tie away at non-league Histon. Having destroyed Swindon 5-0 in the previous round, the club is hopeful about the prospects of lifting the trophy previously won by the likes of Jamie Carragher. The game can be viewed on LFCTV and online on Wednesday at 6.45 GMT.

Liverpool's kids will march on to the knockout stages in the Next Gen competition too, having beaten Inter Milan in a must-win match to progress from their group. Their reward is a tie against Sporting Lisbon in the Alvalade Stadium on the 20th of the month.

With all eyes on our stuttering first teamers' attempts to win in St Petersburg, it is heartening to think of the excellence that the academy continues to facilitate. There is surely no disrespect to Brendan Rodgers in doffing one's cap to the currently embattled Rafa Benitez for his visionary work in this area during his tenure as manager. His initiatives included the appointment of Borrell and the now departed Pep Segura and the resultant structures, methodologies and philosophies would now appear to be yielding results.

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