Liverpool’s interim under-23s manager Mike Garrity considers the club’s academy to be an attractive proposition at the moment following Steven Gerrard’s appointment as a coach and the first-team opportunities currently on offer.
It was announced on Friday that Gerrard will return to his boyhood club in a coaching capacity, starting his full-time position at the club’s Kirkby academy in February.
Meanwhile, manager Jurgen Klopp has given 19 players debuts during his tenure at Anfield — 12 of which have been to players under the age of 23 and who were already at the club when he took over.
Harry Wilson was the latest academy prospect to make his bow when he came on in the FA Cup third-round replay against Plymouth Argyle last week.
“It’s difficult because when we’re inside it we don’t actually look at it like that,” Garrity told ESPN FC. “When people are outside of it, it’s probably in your face a little bit more.
“We’ve got some really, really good people who work in the academy. It’s a good environment, the boys that we’ve got in there are really good. They come in everyday and work really hard. That’s all we try and say.
“We try to create a solid, strong working environment and atmosphere. We’ve got a manager at this moment in time who gives the players a lot of hope and opportunity. And if they’re playing well, then he casts an eye over them and he’s not afraid of giving them a chance.”
Garrity, who has worked his way through the ranks at Liverpool’s academy, has welcomed the decision to bring Gerrard back to his boyhood club.
“It’s brilliant,” Garrity added. “He comes in with a wealth of playing experience. Everybody knows what he’s done in the game.
“As he said, it’s where it all began for him. He’s a humble person. I think everybody can learn off him and vice versa.
“I think people will learn off Steven, and I think Steven will learn off people within the academy. It’s a great appointment, it’s one that’s exciting and we’ll see how it goes in the future.”
Garrity was speaking after his side’s 3-0 win over Ipswich Town in the Premier League Cup on Sunday afternoon.
Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer, Ben Woodburn, 17, scored the third of the U23s’ goals at Prenton Park and started the game from a deeper central-midfield role.
Garrity revealed Woodburn, who usually operates as a forward, does have experience of playing in a position closer towards his own goal.
“He’s a good player,” Garrity said. “I think the last half hour his quality really pushed through. We were pleased with him.
“When he was a little bit younger he played in midfield a little bit, so he has done it before and it’s not completely new to him.
“But as you go up and the level goes higher, the demands go greater. We were pleased with Ben in midfield, he did well.”