Liverpool news

Liverpool pair sacked in youth shake-up

November 21, 2013
By Mike Whalley

Liverpool have sacked Academy director Frank McParland and Academy technical director Rodolfo Borrell as they overhaul their youth set-up.

Melwood training ground
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McParland, appointed to his role by Rafa Benitez in 2009, had previously served as the club’s chief scout. Borrell was brought to Liverpool by Benitez initially as an under-18 coach, also in 2009, having spent 13 years at Barcelona’s Academy, where he helped to oversee the development of Lionel Messi.

The Spaniard was then promoted to U21 manager before becoming technical director in November 2012.

Liverpool have refused to comment on the departures, but sources have told ESPN that McParland and Borrell were informed on Wednesday that they would be leaving. Both men had played a key role in producing a number of young players for the first team.

Seven Academy graduates made their senior debuts last season, as Suso, Andre Wisdom, Adam Morgan, Samed Yesil, Jerome Sinclair and Conor Coady all broke into the side.

That was partly out of necessity, though, as manager Brendan Rodgers had to manage a small squad to deal with a fixture list that included the demands of the UEFA Europa League.

Rodgers has since recruited extensively, and has fewer games to plan for as Liverpool are not in European competition this season.

And so of the seven youngsters to break through last term, only Wisdom -- who has since joined Championship side Derby on loan -- and Ibe have featured for the first team this season.

But Suso has impressed on loan at Spanish Primera Division side Almeria this season, while Yesil has been recovering from cruciate knee ligament damage sustained in January. Coady is continuing his education on a six-month loan at League One side Sheffield United.

McParland and Borrell can also take credit for the development of Martin Kelly, Raheem Sterling, Jon Flanagan and Jack Robinson, who all made it from the youth set-up to the senior squad under their watch.

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