Something is about to start happening. Movement. News. Leans. But that’s tomorrow. For now, on the eve of Mohamed Salah, it’s all quiet. And not a creature was stirring for fear of jinxing the goodness on the horizon, doing something that requires an apology, or something.
But we can have our fun in the meantime. And I’d be pleased to point you elsewhere for a short while, away from transfers. Away from flight paths—but I love flight paths—away from currency conversions and the like. Instead, let me escort you to the fabulous world of Steven Gerrard and Liverpool’s under-18 squad.
Picture this: Steven Gerrard, in his office, if one exists, at the Kirkby Academy. He’s standing before a window looking out to the training pitches maybe. There’s cloud cover. A shortlist of names sits on his desk. Important conversations have happened. Phone calls are eminent.
Hello, Tom Culshaw, this is Stevie. Was wondering do you want to be my assistant or whatever? Yes. Tom is in.
“Tommy Culshaw is going to assist me,” said Gerrard. “When I started out full-time as an apprentice, Tommy was a year above me so I know everything about him and he knows everything about me.
“I thought he was the perfect partner to go into it.”
So, Stevie has his number two. The next call is to the man himself. Jürgen, I need Milsom.
You see, the man the u18 squad already knew as fitness coach, a man named Conall Murtaugh, he was leaving Kirkby, heading up to Melwood to stake his clam with the senior team. The space vacated by Murtaugh, open, clean, pure, Gerrard believed could be filled by a man up at Melwood, a man named Jordan Milsom (like we need any more Jordans/Jordons). And thus that elusive like-for-like transfer swap happened quietly right under our noses between two historic outfits under the same crest. Beautiful.
“I lost my fitness coach,” said Gerrard, “so I phoned Jürgen and asked him if I could have Jordan Milsom, who I worked with for a few years and is, for me, one of the best in the business.”
Adding to the Tom and the newest Jordan/Jordon, Gerrard takes charge of current u18 goalkeeping coach, Neil Edwards, and performance analyst, Scott Mason.
Stevie is now more a part of the fabric of the club than ever. He is in charge of the young men of the u18 team and assessing their station. He is their guide. And the inspiration he has to offer by simply standing before them is powerful stuff. Gerrard is the product of the Liverpool Academy at the apex of the output triangle. He is the beacon to the young players who want to live and love and revel in glory at Liverpool Football Club.
Here I am, it can happen to you. But, to be inspired won’t be enough for these ambitious teens.
“There’s a lot of talent,” said Stevie, “but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: to play for Liverpool’s first team you’ve got to be world-class.
“It’ll be more of the same, but trying to tell them that every single day you’ve got to be obsessed to play for Liverpool’s first team.
“We’ve got a job to do and that’s to try and push them and get every single bit of effort and determination. We’ve got to try and push them to give them a little bit more, but we’re in good shape and we’ve got some really, really good footballers in there and I am really looking forward to helping them if I can.”