LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Apr 28 – Steven Gerrard is set to take his first step into management after Liverpool announced that the club icon will be in charge of the Under-18 team next season.
The former England international made 710 appearances for the Reds after graduating from their academy in 1998, and is the longest-serving captain at Anfield.
Gerrard left the Merseysiders in July 2015 to sign for Los Angeles Galaxy, where he spent the next season-and-a-half before calling time on his playing career in November 2016.
The 36-year-old, who etched his name into Liverpool folklore when he led the team to UEFA Champions League glory in 2005, had previously been working at Kirkby in a floating coaching role.
But a reshuffle in the youth set-up sees Gerrard return in a permanent capacity, with current U18s manager Neil Critchley moving up to take charge of the U23s.
“I have really enjoyed my time at the academy so far and feel I have learnt a lot from the coaching staff here already,” the Reds legend said in a statement.
“After speaking to [Liverpool academy director] Alex [Inglethorpe], we feel as though it is time for me to step up and manage my own team.
“Neil has done a fantastic job with the U18s, so I hope I can continue where he left off, encouraging and nurturing players into the U23s and eventually the first-team set-up.”
Inglethorpe added: “Steven has brought invaluable experience and knowledge to us since joining the academy, passing on some fantastic advice and guidance to our younger players.
“We both feel now is the perfect time for him to take the next step in his coaching career and manage his own team. The U18 players can undoubtedly only learn from having someone like Steven in charge and we have no doubt that he will prove to be a huge success in the position.”