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'We have tried to focus on the local area' - Inglethorpe reveals Liverpool academy recruitment policy

12:55 SAST 2019/01/09
HD Alex Inglethorpe Jurgen Klopp
Ki-Jana Hoever, Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones made their debuts at Wolves and further promotions are expected in the coming years

Liverpool academy director Alex Inglethorpe says the club's recruitment policy is focused on local players rather than those from overseas.

Dutchman Ki-Jana Hoever, Portugal Under-20 international Rafael Camacho and winger Curtis Jones all made their Reds debuts in the FA Cup third round defeat to Wolves on Monday.

The trio each produced accomplished displays in the 2-1 loss, another reflection of the quality coming through the Melwood academy.

Seventeen-year-old Jones became the latest Scouser to play for the Liverpool first team during his 70-minute run-out.

And despite Liverpool being able to attract players from across Europe and beyond, the club are focused on drawing on players from the surrounding area to supplement their first team squad.

Inglethorpe told Liverpool's official website: “The Academy is made up predominantly of boys from the north west, so we have more than our fair share of Scousers in the Academy but we’ll also have boys [from elsewhere].

“We can recruit from either 60 minutes or 90 minutes away from Kirkby, depending on the age group. 

"Of course, as they get older that extends out, but what we don’t want to do is take away the heartbeat.

“If anything, what we have tried to do is focus more on the local area. 

"We’ve really tried hard in our pre-Academy to get the recruitment right in there and to look after the age groups.

“I’m really excited about some of the boys who are at the Academy, there are boys here who should and will play for Liverpool – I have no doubt in that we have boys here who will represent this club.

“So, for me, I think it’s important that we are well represented from staff and from players from the Merseyside area, but of course that’s going to extend out into the north west. That’s logical.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold became the latest local prodigy to become a regular in the first team last season, with Jurgen Klopp admitting having a Scouse contingent in his squad is important.

“I love it, I love it! It’s important for this club,” the German told Goal during pre-season.

“If you have the chance, then you should do it. How many people live in Liverpool? 500,000? Iceland has 330,000, I think, so Liverpool should have enough people to create our own team!

“But of course, the more the better. With Stevie and Carra, it was great to have those kind of boys come through, really cool. We will see with Curtis, there is still a long way to go but the first signs are really positive. He’s a good player, he can be very good, we will see.

“It’s always this little plus if they come from Liverpool. If I have two players, same quality, but one speaks proper English and the other one speaks Scouse, the Scouser is in! That’s why we are Liverpool.”