3-0 win sees Reds youngsters crowned national champs

Congratulations have to go out to Gary Ablett and his excellent reserve side who last night added a third trophy to their haul for this season at the end of a great performance at Anfield.

After winning the Dallas Cup earlier in the season they became the Barclays Premiership Reserve League North champions after a season of excellent results. Then last night was the chance to claim the national title by beating the champions from the Barclays Premiership Reserve League South – which they did in style.

Aston Villa’s reserves were beaten 3-0 by Ablett’s boys, all of them made up of youngsters the club hope they’ll soon be able to pick from for first team appearances.

Krisztian Nemeth and Jordy Brouwer scored the first two, with regular first-team player Lucas, brought in because of injuries, finishing Villa off with the third.

Brouwer got the assist for the first goal from Nemeth, which came after ten minutes. Liverpool continued to threaten the Villa goal after that, with El Zhar narrowly missing on a couple of occasions and Villa’s 27-year-old keeper Stuart Taylor forced into action to deny Brouwer a goal of his own. But with 67 minutes gone Brouwer finally got his goal, Liverpool’s second, Nemeth returning the favour with the assist.

Villa had not been short of chances to get back into the game, Herd and Salifou hitting the woodwork, and Liverpool’s Mikel San Jose needed to clear off the line to prevent a Shane Lowry effort from going in.

The Lucas goal came on 76 minutes, when a good Daniel Pacheco pass allowed the Brazilian to slot the ball past Taylor in front of a delighted Kop.

Over seven-and-a-half thousand supporters turned out to watch the game, a figure that would have been higher had Villa fans not faced traffic problems on the M6.

That’s three pieces of silverware so far for the youngsters, and they’ve still got a chance for more with a match against Manchester United to come in the Lancashire Senior Cup final.

Rafa Benítez was at the game, sitting alongside Rick Parry in the directors’ box.


Liverpool coach Gary Ablett: “It was nice to win because it shows how far we have come since the beginning of pre-season when you wouldn’t believe how bad we were. Full credit to the lads for what they have achieved because they have come on leaps and bounds in the time we’ve had with them and hopefully now we can step a few more up from here and get them into Rafa’s plans.

“We all know how difficult that will be but I think a few of them have shown their potential to do that. The most pleasing thing about the victory is that we had to tough it out. There were times when we were really under the cosh and for 20 minutes we couldn’t get hold of the ball but with a bit of fortune and some good defending we managed to come through that.

“It was a smashing game of football and I couldn’t be more happy with them. You can see how much it means to them by the way they’re carrying on in the dressing room.”

“It’s a great achievement. We said all along that this is the aim from the moment we came together in pre-season. They showed a great attitude and work rate and it’s the result of all the hard work they put in from the start, like adapting to the language and a new culture. It wasn’t easy at times and Villa played particularly well at the start of the second half and put us under a lot of pressure. We rode our luck at times and produced some great defending on other occasions and we eventually got back into the game and took the chances that came our way well.

“We’ve got a group of players who aren’t fazed, no matter who they come up against. Even in practice games against the first-team,  although we don’t do particularly well in them and why should we, but you see that the ability is there and the attitude is there, and if we keep bringing them along and developing them how we have been, we’ll have some very good young players.

(On the goals) “Krisztian’s been on fire and took his goal very well with his so-called weaker foot. The second goal involved some great play where we got a nice little passing sequence going and we put Jordy in and he took it very, very well. For the third goal Pacheco came on and spotted a great pass for Lucas who did the rest.

“The main aim for us is to try and get young players into the first-team. It may be six-to-twelve months before we see the outcome of the work we have been doing with the players but they will be exciting times for us. The difficult part is doing it again now. Forget what we won in the past, we need to look forward now and start planning for the new season.”

Emilaino Insua: “It was really good to be part of a young team which won something at Anfield because we all know what a special place this is. I was lucky enough to play there for the first team against Manchester City and that has made me hungry for more.

“There are a lot of good young players at Liverpool and we all want the same thing – to play for the first team. I have done that but I want to do it more and more. The challenge for me now is to become a regular in the first team squad.

Jay Spearing (who missed out last night due to injury but played a part in getting the club into this play-off): “It’s obviously disappointing for me personally to miss the final but I’m delighted that the lads went out and won it. I’ve just started running again in training and if the game had been two or three days later, I could have been involved. But it wasn’t to be.

“We did what we set out to do and we kept a clean sheet against a good side which is a good achievement and scored some great goals too. It was just great to be at Anfield. When we found out it was going to be played here we were all made up and we were determined to go out there and we celebrated as a team because that is what has seen us do so well this season.

“The lads work really hard for each other. As the season’s gone on we’ve become very good friends and good teammates and we are always willing to put in that extra bit of work for each other. If you’d said that we’d achieve all this at the start of the season we’d have happily taken it and we are just delighted with how the season has gone.

Jordy Brouwer: “It was the best moment of my life (his goal). To score in any game is amazing but to score in front of the Kop is something else.

“They had four or five first-team players and we only had Lucas, so we really turned it on and to win 3-0 is a great achievement. Everyone knows their job and we have proved we are a good side. I have been scoring a few recently and it was good to finish with a goal in the last game and such an important one too.”

Liverpool clinch national reserve title (click for more photos from Propaganda Photo agency)Photos: Propaganda Photo Agency – Liverpool Reserves v Aston Villa Reserves.

Liverpool Reserves: Gulacsi, Darby, Insua, San Jose, Huth, Plessis, El Zhar (Simon, 86), Lucas, Brouwer (Pacheco, 73), Nemeth (Lindfield, 80), Flynn
Unused subs: Bouzanis, Kelly, Simon

Aston Villa Reserves: Taylor, Lund (Bannan, 74), Baker (Delfouneso, 46), Osbourne, Clark, Lowry, Salifou, Routledge, Harewood, Herd, Maloney (Albrighton, 77)
Unused subs: Bevan, Collins

Ref: Mark Clattenburg

Attendance: 7,580

17 thoughts on “3-0 win sees Reds youngsters crowned national champs”

  1. Jim, cheers for the photos link.

    Nice shot of Parry and Rafa?

    Looks like Martin O’Neill is vying for Hicks’ spot in the popularity stakes.

  2. @Edward: Yes, some funny photos in there.

    To think we were linked with O’Neill at one stage too.

  3. Rafa’s doing a great job building for the long term.

    He appoints Ablett, after the fall-out with Stevie Heighway. Faced alot of criticism. But got the whole footballing staff to understand his ideas and implement them.

    The reserves are now winners. And giving him options for the first team squad. May take some more time, but Rafa will hope to have a production line of good reserves who will be tomorrows stars!

  4. Villa played some of their first team. Rafa offered Ablett the oportunity to have Torres and Gerrard on the bench but he didn’t need them.

  5. The way the reserve team have done so well reminds me of the way that Man U done well with the likes of Beckham, Giggs and co just before they became the ‘best’ team in the land. I think that it is very good for LFC. A couple of players are said to be making there way to the first team next season. They where Insua and Plessis.

  6. Rafa has also confirmed that Harry Kewel will not be getting a new contract in the summer, not really a surprise. It will however free up the 90000 he gets paid every week, for being injured and a waste of space.

  7. Has anyone else ever notice that the person/s who write for Sportingo either are on drugs, do not watch football or do not supprt LFC. Any many occasions I have seen some shite printed on that site. They seem to always have a list of players who LFC should get rid of following a performance, and somtimes I am left thinking has this person watched a different game. The idiot is now saying that Crouch has failed to impress this season and should be let go of by the club, but does admit that its because he had not had many chances. What this person is failing to mention is that when Crouch has played he has impressed. There was another occasion when a list of players who this individual would scalp appeared in the paper and one of the players was one of the few people who had been putting in any kind decent performacnce. As any one else noticed that the journalism on that site is just as bad as the sun?

  8. Champions League – EU reject Blatter quota
    Eurosport – Thu, 08 May 17:10:00 2008
    The European Parliament voted against FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s controversial plan to limit the number of foreign players at football clubs.

    More StoriesBlatter rues English success
    EU lawmakers rejected Blatter’s “6+5 rule” – allowing no more than five foreign players to start a match – by 518 votes to 49, but most backed UEFA’s “home-grown player rule”.

    “The parliament calls on the member states and sports associations not to introduce new rules that create direct discrimination based on nationality, such as FIFA’s 6+5,” the resolution said.

    “It calls on the Commission to recognise the legality of measures favouring the promotion of players who have come through training schemes, such as a minimum number of locally-trained players, irrespective of their nationality.”

    FIFA opposes the UEFA rule, which sets a quota of locally-trained players at clubs but without any discrimination on nationality, arguing it encourages recruitment at a young age.

    UEFA says Blatter’s proposal is unworkable in the EU because it contravenes the bloc’s laws on the free movement of workers and could lead to costly legal challenges – a view echoed by the EU assembly.

    “Unfortunately the 6+5 rule is not compatible with the free movement of persons in the EU. The European Treaty is very clear on this point: discrimination on the basis of nationality is not allowed and this also counts for football,” Belgian MEP Ivo Belet, author of the parliament’s report on the future of professional football, told the assembly.

    “We therefore ask FIFA to join forces with the European Parliament and the European Commission and fully back the ‘home-grown’ rule.”

    MEPs also slammed Blatter’s idea of reaching a “gentlemen’s agreement” with the individual associations at FIFA’s congress later this month, saying he risked a repetition of the 1995 “Bosman Ruling” by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

    The ruling by Europe’s top court, named after Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman, gave all sports professionals within the 27-member bloc the freedom to change clubs.

    “We ask Mr Blatter not to take us back to Bosman. We cannot go back to the pre-Bosman era. A professional footballer is a worker and should be treated like any other worker,” Greek MEP Mnolis Mavromatis, who wrote Thursday’s resolution, said.

    Dutch MEP Toine Manders said: “In the jungle of sport we need clear legal guidelines. If you ask if these gentleman’s agreements will hold, you are very wrong.”

    “We are talking about big business, powerful clubs who will go to court if necessary. Mr Blatter will only open up another Pandora’s Box like Bosman.”

    The Commission is expected to come forward later this year with a proposal on locally-trained players in all sports, which will require the backing of both the EU assembly and the 27 sports ministers.

    To change FIFA’s rules, Blatter needs 75 percent support at the congress in Sydney on May 29 where each of FIFA’s 208 member associations who are eligible to vote have one vote each and UEFA as an organisation has none.

  9. ” To change FIFA’s rules, Blatter needs 75 percent support at the congress in Sydney on May 29 where each of FIFA’s 208 member associations who are eligible to vote have one vote each and UEFA as an organisation has none. ”

    I do not see any point in the vote going through because it will not be allowed in Europe as it will break employment laws.

  10. Jim – If your still there, I think the reason its so quite is because the weather is nice and everyone has gone out to enjoy the sun.

  11. Sammy Lee is going to be the new Assitant manager. It has been confirmed in the Liverpool Echo that no offer has been made for Gerrard by AC Milan.

  12. Martin O’ Neill is at it again!

    This time he’s having a go at Rafa and is apparently ‘furious’. I don’t see the need for all this histrionics. We want the player get over it!

    Does anyone know if Barry qualifies to buy out his contract?

  13. I hate to be going on about this but, this antagonism emanating from Villa has me bemused to say the least.

    Personally I think that it’s important for clubs to develop consistency and a winning mentality before even considering mounting a challenge on the top 4.

    In this respect teams such as Spurs (Carling cup), Portsmouth (F.A. cup final) and even Everton are contenders. But Villa? Getting a bit ahead of themselves methinks! I actually have more respect for Blackburn.

    I think that it is precisely the fragility of their certain position in the mid-table league that is at the heart of these outbursts by O’Neill.

    It’s a shame that he’s using Barry to further his own deluded short-term ambitions. But if Barry lacks the ambition to compete at the highest level, then we’re better off without him.

  14. Reading between the lines from what I saw, despite his rantings, O’Neill pretty much confirmed what Rafa said. I think O’Neill is just sensitive to what Villa fans will make of him selling Barry. So he wants to create the impression that Rafa is the bad guy and that Villa are doing all they can to keep Barry, and then when (if) he eventually goes the fans don’t blame the club.

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