Liverpool FC has announced that Steven Gerrard is to return to the club in a full-time capacity to take up a position within the Academy.
The Reds legend will serve as a coach at the youth complex in Kirkby, operating in a wide-ranging role in the professional development phase of the young players.
Gerrard will begin his responsibilities in February, marking a return home to the club where he spent 17 years of his professional career after graduating through the ranks at the Academy. He has been a familiar presence at the Academy since ending his playing association with the Reds, connecting with some of the younger age groups whilst working on his coaching badges.
The 36-year-old will bring with him invaluable experience and expertise garnered from a glittering career at the highest level, as well as unparalleled knowledge of the fabric and ethos of Liverpool Football Club.
In turn, the new role will provide Gerrard with the opportunity to enhance his coaching skills and development under the stewardship of Alex Inglethorpe, with the former midfielder eager to not only make a substantial contribution towards the progression of young players, but also to learn from those around him.
Gerrard said: “It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began. However, this isn’t a decision based on emotion – it’s about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool.
“I don’t think I need to explain to people what this football club means to me, but when I knew coming back was a serious option I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role and a role in which I could really help the organisation.
“Meeting with Alex Inglethorpe, seeing the work they are currently doing and want to do in the future at Kirkby, it just felt right. The right option at the right time, for all parties involved.
“This gives me a great opportunity to learn and develop as a coach, while at the same time offering my knowledge, ideas and experience to the young players at an important period of their development.”
Gerrard’s return to Liverpool comes following an emotional departure to LA Galaxy in May 2015 after 710 appearances, 186 goals, 10 trophies and countless moments that will forever be etched into the club’s history.
Having announced his decision to leave the Major League Soccer club last year, he officially called time on his playing career before taking up his coaching position within the Reds’ youth setup permanently.
Academy director Inglethorpe believes Gerrard’s appointment will prove hugely beneficial for all parties concerned.
He said: “If I was to pick one individual who embodies the characteristics and values we are looking to instil into our organisation at Kirkby, it would be Steven Gerrard. For him to have been so enthusiastic about being part of what we are looking to do is simply great news for everyone connected to the club.
“I don’t think it would surprise anyone to know that Steven has had a host of great options, in terms of what to do next in his career, including playing, management and coaching. But it’s been evident from the first meeting with him that his heart and head belongs here.
“He has shown great humility in making it clear from the outset he wants a role where he can contribute to Liverpool; it’s typical of him that his priority has been defining the role so it helps the club, ahead of himself.
“He has expressed a desire to learn from us and manage a young team. The benefits to us will be immense. This is a substantial role and one which makes the Academy and the club in general stronger and better.”