Liverpool to bring strong squad
The manager of Liverpool’s under-21 team Michael Beale says he is very much looking forward to coming over for Wednesday’s game in The Showgrounds.
Beale confirmed that he will be bringing a strong squad that includes several players with first team experience as well as full and underage internationals.
Beale says there will be lots of benefits for his team in travelling over for a game such as this: “We don’t get the opportunity to play against full men’s teams much so this is really good for us. Firstly the team with Sligo Rovers will be very committed and they are in the early stage of their season so it will be really good to play them. Also the welcome we always get in Ireland. We were over in the summer for our pre-season and the welcome was fantastic, it’s always nice to come over.
“It will be a good experience for our players to travel and play in a different environment. It is good to play against teams with different styles. We will playing against a team that is highly motivated and that is important. A few of our team got to play with the first team in the FA Cup game against Exeter City recently. The pitch there was difficult and the facilities were a bit different to what they are accustomed to. It’s a good experience to put these things in their way. Some of them do get to go away and play with their national teams.”
Tickets have been selling quickly with the game getting Liverpool fans all over the country interested in seeing future stars of the first team: “The game also shows the Liverpool family that is out there. I understand there is a Liverpool Supporters Branch there is Sligo which shows the value of coming over. It can be an eye-opener for some of the lads too see and make them appreciate how great what they have is. The support around the world is fantastic.
“I’d like to think that in the Liverpool tradition we will play good football. On the Tuesday before the first team will play West Ham in the FA Cup recently and five or six of our players will be there. But there will be players over that have played in the first team and been out on loan in the Championship so it will be a strong squad. We will also bring some of our under-18s so will get their first experience of playing abroad. We will have the same squad that play Man City at the weekend. There is a tradition of this club playing a good style of football and we are honoured to try and continue that.”
Beale and Rovers manager Dave Robertson go back a long way and Beale said how he owes his first job in the game to the current Rovers boss: “Dave has been a friend of mine for 15 years. When I was young and he was with Crystal Palace he gave me my first ever coaching job there. After that I worked with Chelsea for a long time but we have never come directly up against eachother so this will be the first time. My teams have played Peterborough United when he was head of the youth system there but it will be the first time we will stand in opposing dugouts. We have been close for a while and we always regularly share ideas. Dave is known as someone who watches a lot of games and has a keen interest in developing players. Hopefully he will bring success to Sligo this year.
“One of the main reasons for coming over is also to help him and you never know what things may come up in future. They signed Craig Roddan recently who had been with us. In one or two years some of our players may be looking for a club and Sligo Rovers could be an option. That’s one of the main good things this game can give.”
The Liverpool under-21 manager confirmed some of the names that will be in the squad. They are headlined by Jerome Sinclair who holds the honour of being the youngest player to play in the history of the club when making his debut and 16 years and six days in 2012. He recently scored for the first team to help them through in the FA Cup against Exeter City. The group also contains Spaniard Pedro Chirivella, Ryan Kent and Joe Maguire who have all appeared for the first team. Harry Wilson will also travel who is the youngest ever full Welsh international as well as Jack Dunn. Ryan McLaughlin who has four caps for Northern Ireland and recently returned from a loan spell with Aberdeen is set to play. The squad contains four Irish underage international players in keeper Caoimhin Kelleher, defender Daniel Cleary and midfielder Alex O’Hanlon.
The game is Wednesday February 10 in The Showgrounds, kick-off 7pm.
Tickets are on sale now at €10 for adults and €5 for kids from The Showgrounds, our club store on Market Street, sligorovers.com and the following locations:
- Barton Smiths, Sligo
- Collerys Menswear, Sligo
- Collerys, Beltra
- Gerry Kenny Sport, Ballina
- Gillespies Sports, Tubercurry
- Grennan Electric, Boyle
- John Lowe, Carrick
- Lavins Menswear, Ballymote
- Tansey’s Centra, Gurteen
- Tony Quinn, Cliffoney
- Gartland, Carrick-on-Shannon