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Revision as of 10:32, August 21, 2012

Liverpool-background

The Liverpool F.C. Reserves is the second string team of Liverpool Football Club. It is currently managed by Spanish youth coach Rodolfo Borrell and competes in the national Under 21 League.

Following in the footsteps of its parent club, the Liverpool Reserves are one of the most successful reserve sides in English football history. They have claimed 20 League titles and in excess of 46 local cup competitions. However, although the Reserves play in hardened competition, it's primary purpose is to nurture talent emerging from the club's Academy. To this end, the Reserves are most notable for providing the first team with such legendary players as Billy Liddell, Phil Thompson, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard.

History

The Liverpool Reserves were founded along with their parent club in 1892. Initially, they competed in the Lancashire Combination from 1896 to 1911. From 1911 on they took part in the Central League until becoming inaugural members of the Premier Reserve League North in 1999. The Reserves have participated in numerous cup competitions, most notably the local Liverpool Senior Cup and Lancashire Senior Cup. For the 2011-12 season, a Liverpool under-19s side was invited to take part in the inaugural NextGen Series competition- a Champions League-like tournament for Europe's top youth sides. Liverpool's under-19s side was essentially the Reserve team, and was also coached by Reserve team manager Rodolfo Borrell.

The team tasted little League success until the 1950s, with only two league triumphs- in the Lancashire Combination at the turn of the Century to their name. They were however prolific in the local cup competitions, in particular the Liverpool Senior Cup. In the 1960s, Liverpool first-team manager Bill Shankly joked- at the expense of local rivals Everton- that "In my time at Anfield we always said we had the two best teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves," with the quote now part of Liverpool folklore. Since the 1950s, the Liverpool Reserves have been one of the most successful reserve sides in England. In the 2007-08 season, Liverpool won the Premier Reserve League North and then beat the Premier Reserve League South winners- Aston Villa- to claim their first Premier Reserve League National Championship.

Many famous figures from Liverpool's coaching past have taken the Reserve team helm, including Bob Paisley, who would go on to be the most successful manager of the Liverpool first team in the club's history. The most successful Liverpool Reserves coach however was Roy Evans. Evans spent most of his playing career as a Reserve team player, making only 11 appearances for the first team. After an injury ended his career in 1974, he was appointed coach of the Reserves by Paisley. Evans subsequently led the Reserves to no fewer than nine Central League championships, including three in his first three seasons, a four in a row sequence from 1978 and two more in the early 1980s.

On 3 August 2012, it was confirmed that the Reserves had joined the U21 Premier League to compete instead as the Liverpool U21s.

Manager history

The following list is an incomplete record

Graduates

A number of Reserve players have progressed to become key players for the first team over the years. Current first team players who came through the Academy and Reserves are:

Other notable graduates include:

Stadia

The Reserves play their home games at Prenton Park- the home ground of the Liverpool-based Tranmere Rovers. In the past, the Reserves have also played at the club's Academy- the Halliwell Jones Stadium, also the home of Warrington Wolves, as well as Haig Avenue- the home of Southport, Knowsley Road- the home of St Helens Rugby League side, and the Racecourse Ground- home of Wrexham.

Current Squad

There is no set squad for the Reserves. Players are drafted in either from the Academy or from the first team. In the case of the latter, this is usually to help with the rehabilitation of players who are returning from injury, or to maintain the match fitness of players failing to get much playing time with the first team.

Most of the Reserve team players are those who are currently too old to play for the senior-most Academy team- the under 18s- but who are yet to be fully integrated into first team, or are Academy players who are performing at a level deemed superior to their age group. At present, the players who most frequently turn out for the Reserves are:

Honours

League:

  • The Central League/Premier Reserve League North: 18
    • Winners: 1956–57, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1999–00, 2007–08
  • Premier Reserve League National Champions: 1
    • Winners: 2007–08
  • The Lancashire Combination: 2
    • Winners: 1896–97, 1899–00

Cups:

  • Liverpool Senior Cup: 36
    • Winners: 1893, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1913, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1952, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1998 (x2), 2002, 2009, 2010
  • Lancashire Senior Cup: 10
    • Winners: 1919, 1924, 1931, 1933, 1944, 1947, 1956, 1959, 1973, 2010
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