Gerrard to return to Liverpool as Academy coach

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2017 2:05 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool's former captain and talisman Steven Gerrard will return to his roots as part of the Academy's coaching set-up, the Premier League club announced on Friday.

Gerrard, who made 710 appearances for his boyhood club during 17 years at Anfield, will begin his new role in February.

"It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began," the 36-year-old told the club's website (www.liverpoolfc.com).

"However, this isn't a decision based on emotion - it's about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool."

Gerrard ended his playing career in November when he announced his retirement a week after confirming he would not be returning to play for MLS side LA Galaxy.

A return to Liverpool in some capacity has always been on the cards and news that he will be working with the club's youngsters will be welcomed by the fans who idolized him.

He will work under Academy manager Alex Inglethorpe at the club's Kirkby complex.

"I don't think I need to explain to people what this football club means to me," said Gerrard, who famously led Liverpool to an unlikely Champions League final win over Milan in 2005.

"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 organization.

"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."

Gerrard, talked about as a future Liverpool manager, scored 186 goals for the club, winning two FA Cups, three League Cups as well as the Champions League.

He was also capped 114 times for England, 40 as captain.

Inglethorpe welcomed the appointment.

"If I was to pick one individual who embodies the characteristics and values we are looking to instil into our organization at Kirkby, it would be Steven Gerrard," he said.

"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."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)