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Marc Bridge-Wilkinson Proud of U18 Players Despite Final Youth Cup Defeat

The baby Reds lost to Aston Villa 2-1 on Monday.

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Aston Villa U18 v Liverpool U18: FA Youth Cup Final Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

While the senior team clocked a big victory this weekend, unfortunately the U18s list their Youth Cup final to Aston Villa on Monday evening. However, Liverpool U18 coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson was nothing but thankful to his players following the match.

Despite going down 2-0 by halftime, the Reds managed to pull one back in the 73rd minute, thanks to substitute Melkamu Frauendorf. Though they hoped that they could find the equalizer in the last quarter-hour, it wasn’t to be for Liverpool that day.

“We’re really proud of them,” Bridge-Wilkinson said. “We didn’t start the game very well, that was pretty obvious to see. But we made a game of it, we put them on the back foot in the second half and we managed to create opportunities in and around their box.”

When asked to look back on the season as a whole, Bridge-Wilkinson seems largely positive about the way his players have grown.

“It’s been a good season, it’s been a positive season,” he said. “We’ve had lots of boys that have achieved in games and we’ve had boys that have obviously moved forwards into training groups and games they’ve played with the U23s and been involved in first-team training. But of course it’s football and football changes day to day. It’s great to say this has happened this season – and the boys have shown an awful lot of potential – but ultimately we’ve got to keep going, we’ve got to keep these boys hungry. We’re going to help them learn and adapt to the game even more so moving forwards.”

The team placed third out of the 13 sides in the 24-game season, matching both their men’s and women’s senior side counterparts. With any luck all three teams will do even better next year.