Gerrard urges Liverpool youngsters to ‘become men’

The skipper has hailed Brendan Rodgers’s attitude towards youth and urged the club’s academy prospects to establish themselves in the first team

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has challenged the club’s young players to “become men” by establishing themselves in the first team.

The club finished seventh in 2012-13, a season in which Brendan Rodgers gave seven academy graduates opportunities in both domestic and European competitions.

Raheem Sterling accumulated the most appearances, with 36 in all competitions, but Gerrard wants more players to push themselves and make their mark on the first team.

“You only get described as a young lad for a certain amount of time and then it’s time to become a man and perform on a consistent basis,” the Reds skipper told LFC TV.

“There is great talent at the club at a young age; the manager has been trying to get a young group of players together that can perform well for him.

“It’s a big season for a lot of players – you look at Sterling and [Jordan] Henderson. Of course it’s a big season for every player we’ve got but I think the supporters will be looking for the young lads to step up now, try to push people out of the way and become regulars in the team.

“I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what happens with those young players.”

Liverpool’s academy has previously produced stars such as Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen and Gerrard believes that Rodgers is perfect for the job of nurturing the next homegrown success stories.

He continued: “The manager is fantastic with the way he does it; he invites a lot of young players down to train with the team all the time.

“It’s great experience to come down and play with the first team. When they come down permanently, they have sampled it and they know what they’re in for.”

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