Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is to take over as manager of the club’s under-18s side next season.
The 36-year-old joined the academy in February with a roving coaching role but has aligned himself closely with the under-18s and will now assume full-time responsibility, the club have announced.
Current under-18 boss Neil Critchley will now take charge of the under-23s, with existing under-23 coach Mike Garrity becoming part of Critchley’s backroom team.
“I have really enjoyed my time at the academy so far and feel I have learnt a lot from the coaching staff here already,” Gerrard said.
“After speaking to Alex (Inglethorpe, academy director), we feel as though it is time for me to step up and manage my own team.
“Neil has done a fantastic job with the under-18s, so I hope I can continue where he left off, encouraging and nurturing players into the under-23s and eventually the first-team set-up.”
It is understood that first-team manager Jurgen Klopp recommended Gerrard’s advancement after an initial settling-in period.
Inglethorpe, himself a former coach of the club’s under-21 side, welcomed the impact Gerrard has already had.
“Steven has brought invaluable experience and knowledge to us since joining the academy, passing on some fantastic advice and guidance to our younger players,” he said.
“We both feel now is the perfect time for him to take the next step in his coaching career and manage his own team.
“The under-18 players can undoubtedly only learn from having someone like Steven in charge, and we have no doubt that he will prove to be a huge success in the position.”