Former Liverpool Under-23 boss, Michael Beale has taken time out of his day to talk to us and discuss his future and his ventures in Brazil, alongside his best memories from his time at Liverpool, we extend a massive thank you to Michael for answering our questions, it was an honour to talk to him!
TAT: What’s your best memory of your time at Liverpool?
TAT: Out of all the players that you have experience with, which of the current crop of academy players, that haven’t really had the chance to sign in the first team deserve a shot?
TAT: At what kind of level was your relationship with Jurgen Klopp? How did you interact regarding players in the academy?
MB: Jurgen is excellent with the academy players and staff. He is always supporting the work going on at Kirkby. I was extremely thankful for his trust in the young boys and how he made them feel when they went to Melwood. My big relationship on a daily basis was with Pepijn Lijnders who is a very close friend. I would liaise with him daily on players and what was needed. Recently I spent a day with Alex Inglethorpe and Pepijn and it was great to be speaking about football with those guys again. They have so much passion for developing the players at Liverpool. Embed from Getty Images
Could you sum up your time at Liverpool? The things you got out of it, the relationships you made.
MB: It was a fantastic time for me and I grew as a person and coach in the time I was at the club. The are so many unsung heroes behind the scenes at the academy that I am proud to be friends with. My story at Liverpool is not finished just yet and I continue to be around the club and speaking to the players
How involved were the owners of the club with the youth set-up? It’s a massively important asset to LFC.
MB: The owners have a keen eye for development and I think they are excellent for Liverpool. The new stand, the plans for a new training facility, support they give to the academy, brining Jurgen to the club etc shows the ambition they have for LFC
How was your experience in Brazil with Sao Paulo? What’s the biggest thing you can take out of it?
MB: My experience was a top one for my personal development. I was able to work extensively with South American players from Brazil, argenina, Uruguay etc and learn about how they see football. My biggest memories will be the big games against Santos, Palmeiras, Corinthians and the big Argentinian club, River Plate. It was something that has improved my knowledge of football greatly.
What kind of challenges did you face in your time in Brazil that is different from your time at Liverpool?
MB: It was completely different in regards to pressure moving from academy to senior 1st team. The language was a challenge that I loved taking on and trying to learn. The weather is ideal for training also. The difficulties were the amount of games and travelling involved. This was something that was hard for the players and staff.
In terms of your time in Brazil, how different was the footballing culture there? How fans act and their passion etc.
MB: The fans are hugely passionate across south america. São Paulo is a huge club with a 70,000 seater stadium and on our first game around 20,000 people were waiting for us to arrive outside the stadium with flags. Also when visiting other cities we would have thousands of fans at the airport on arrival or at the hotel. It was unbelievable to experience.
In Brazil, how are Firmino and Coutinho viewed by the media and do the fans follow the progress of Liverpool?
MB: Liverpool has a lot of exposure in Brazil in this moment in time due to Firmino and Coutinho. The Brazilian team is doing very well at present and hopes are high for the World Cup in 2018. Coutinho is a big part of the team and his friendship with Neymar is often discussed in the media. I am happy to see him stay at Liverpool as he is a top player and one that young players can look up to for his performances on the pitch. Firmino is being valued more and more in the national team for his performances with Liverpool and along with Gabriel Jesus, Brazil has excellent options for the number 9 position.Embed from Getty Images
What lies in your future? A return to Kirkby? A different venture? Or perhaps writing more books?
MB: I have an offer to go back into a club. I will be returning to youth development shortly and I’m staying close to home as my family is settled in the north west. I have spent the last two months being a dad after spending some time away from my young children. But now school has restarted, its time for me to go back to work and I’m looking forward to it. Youth development is my passion and I’m looking forward to going back into academy football and helping young players and coaches develop.
TAT: We pride ourselves in providing a voice for all Liverpool fans, is there anything you’d like to say to the Liverpool fans that follow us?
MB: I would like to thank you for your support of the academy and young players. LFC is a special family and something that makes our club unique in the world of football. Let’s get behind Jurgen and the players to make this season one to remember!
Again, one massive thank you to Michael, and all the best in the future, with whatever it is you do!
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