‘Starlets can benefit from Europa’

Kop hero Alan Kennedy has welcomed the return of continental football to Anfield and believes the Europa League could prove to be hugely beneficial to Liverpool in the future.

As the Reds prepare to fly out to Belarus today for their third round qualifier with FC Gomel, the man who hit winning goals in two European Cup finals for the club in 1981 and 1984 claims the youngsters who could get a chance will profit from representing the club in Europe.

“It’s great to be back in Europe as it felt strange having no European football last season,” said Kennedy.

“Sometimes the Europa League can upset the rhythm of the Premier League form a little bit with you having to play on a Thursday then a Sunday, but we’ve got to cope with it and I would say it’s still a competition you would want to be in rather than be out of it.

“If you are in a competition then you want to go as far as you can, and it might be an opportunity to put one or two of the youngsters in and give them a chance.

“Playing in Europe means a lot to this club. You can learn a lot playing in Europe and this football club traditionally has always done well in Europe and should always be in it.

“Our main priority this season is the Premier League and we need to get as high up the table as we can. That’s what the manager is striving to do, but I would like to think this is a competition we could go all the way in. If you look at the squad we certainly have the players capable of doing it.

“Getting the balance right is important but these are early stages. We will prepare well and this is a great learning curve for the youngsters to gain some experience who could potentially come through and save the club a lot of money.”

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