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McParland Outlines Academy Direction


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From the official site........



Jimmy Rice

8 June 2009


Newly appointed Academy director Frank McParland outlines some of the changes he is overseeing as a new and exciting era begins down in Kirkby.


There has been much speculation recently on the future direction of the Academy.


I was asked by Rafa Benitez to conduct a strategic review of the Academy earlier this year. The conclusions of that review have been fully accepted and agreed by Rafa and his technical team and will now be implemented under my direction. I will continue to report directly to Rafa.


Clearly, there are going to be changes in both personnel and the way we do things at the Academy, but uppermost in our minds is need to provide the best possible environment for the future development of all our young footballers.


It has been decided that separate branding for the Academy will no longer be used - including the sign on top of our building. The Academy is an integral part of the club and will now be badged accordingly. It has a hugely important part to play in the future success of Liverpool FC and the change reflects that fact.


There will be much closer liaison between Melwood and the Academy, and Rafa himself has been hugely supportive of the direction in which we want to move forward.


We will examine every part of the Academy's operation and will be looking to make improvements not just in the coaching set-up, but also in areas such as medical, physio and fitness work. One new initiative will see the appointment of a head of sports science, who will tailor specific programmes for individual age groups to help them progress more quickly.


We will also assess the current facilities and where necessary invest in upgrading these. We have already committed to renewing both of the astro-turf pitches and work on this project will begin shortly.


I spoke before of changes in the staffing structure and our first appointment has been Jose Segura, who took up his role as Academy technical manager on June 1.


Jose brings huge experience to the role, having worked at Barcelona for both their youth system and Barca B team, where he helped develop world class players such as Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Victor Valdes, Bojan Krkic, Mikel Arteta and Cesc Fabregas.


He has also had great success in Greece, at both AEK Athens and later as manager at Olympiakos where he led the side to a Greek League and Cup double. Jose is a great appointment and the first of several key positions which we need to fill.


Work continues to identify the best possible people to get the Academy working properly again and producing players that can progress through to the first team. I hope to be able to confirm other additions to our team within the next month.


Jose will bring with him experience and ideas from working in other countries and it's important going forward that we combine the best influences from abroad with what I see as the English mentality. This to me embodies passion, aggression and desire. We want players who are hungry to play football and achieve success with Liverpool. We need to return to the philosophy of passing and moving quickly. We have to develop a winning mentality in every one of our players.



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