• Premier League

Rodgers calls in Liverpool greats

ESPN staff
October 2, 2013 « England call up history-making Burgess trio | Chartbeat test »
Robbie Fowler is the fifth-highest scorer in Premier League history © PA Photos
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Brendan Rodgers has called in Liverpool greats Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Rob Jones to help bring through the club's next generation of young players.

The three Anfield favourites are working on a part-time basis with the Under-21 and Under-18 squads at the club's Academy in Kirkby, after getting a call from manager Rodgers.

Striker Fowler, 38, the fifth-highest scorer in Premier League history, hit 183 goals in two spells at Liverpool after making his debut in 1993.

Midfielder McManaman, 41, a fellow graduate of the club youth set-up, was a first-team regular between 1991 and 1999 before joining Real Madrid, where he won two Champions League medals.

Jones, 41, signed from Crewe in 1991 and was a highly-rated right-back who won eight England caps before injury forced him to retire at the age of 27.

The trio are helping Academy head coaches Alex Inglethorpe and Neil Critchley by providing specialist coaching sessions.

Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo: "It's great to have Robbie, Steve and Rob on board.

"I said at the end of last season that I wanted to get more former players involved and over the off-season I spoke to a number of them about a possible role here.

"For me it's so important to have players like that around. These are players who the young guys look up to. The three of them have come in recently and I know they have thoroughly enjoyed having that involvement of working with the kids.

"At the moment it's about individual work with the players. Steve McManaman is working with the wingers and attacking players, Rob Jones is doing some work with the full-backs and defenders, and Robbie Fowler is obviously working with the strikers.

"They are giving them little pointers and passing on experiences from their own careers to help the youngsters. What we are doing is providing an opportunity for the former players.

"Then further down the line we will see what their interests are in that field."

Rodgers picked Fowler, McManaman and Jones not only because of their career achievements - all three played for England - but also because of their roots.

Fowler and McManaman were both born in Liverpool, while Jones - originally from nearby Wrexham - grew up as a fan of the club.

Rodgers said: "It's important to retain that connection with the history of the club. I want to protect that great history to ensure these players get the opportunity to be involved at a club they love.

"We lost a true great in Jamie Carragher this summer and you need people around who love the club dearly."

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