INTERVIEW: Michael Beale, Former Liverpool Under-23 Boss.

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?

Michael Beale: Each time a boy made his debut was a big memory and luckily I was able to see a big number of boys do that from when I joined in 2012. Each of the boys has worked so hard to get to that moment and it’s a great achievement that you can never take away from the boy and his family. 
I also have great relationships and friendships within the club that will last a lifetime. These are the things that people don’t always see from the outside but are what make a football club. I would be willing to work for the club in any role. 

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?

MB: There are a lot of good players in the academy and timing is everything. In the current u18 and u23 groups you have too many to mention individually in regards to players who can potentially go on to make a debut. I think they just need some time and patience and that is what the academy and first team staff are giving them. 
Kent, Chirivella, Ojo, Wilson, Brannagan, Randall, Brewster, Alexander Arnold, Woodburn – the academy has already provided a lot of first team involvement in Jurgen Klopps time at the club. 
One boy that I think is destined for big things is Ovie Ejaria. He is someone that has missed a few months with injury so has probably missed gaining more time in the first team. But in the future, he is one that I think will progress very well – he makes me smile when I watch him play. 

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 is the biggest European club for Brazilian fans? 
MB: Barcelona has a big following on Brazil due to the players such as Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar all playing for the club. It’s a club that is special for Brazilians and not just a normal team. It’s a dream for any Brazilian to play for them. But also Real Madrid is followed and I think PSG will also have a growing fans base due to the number of Brazilians now playing in that club. 

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!

Anthony Stonelake
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Anthony Stonelake

17 and Welsh. Been a Liverpool fan since I was born. I live, breathe and bleed Liverpool Football Club. Only here to convince you of Roberto Firmino’s greatness.
Anthony Stonelake
Follow me!

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Anthony Stonelake

17 and Welsh. Been a Liverpool fan since I was born. I live, breathe and bleed Liverpool Football Club. Only here to convince you of Roberto Firmino’s greatness.

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