Date: 6th September 2013 at 6:21pm
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The Reds have announced the arrival of Neil Critchley as the club’s new U18s coach…

Liverpool’s drive to develop stars of the future has seen highly-regarded coach Neil Critchley headhunted from Crewe Alexandra.

The 34-year-old arrives at the Academy to take charge of the club’s U18 side after six years as the Alex’s academy director.

Critchley originally came through the playing ranks at Crewe back in the 1990s making one senior appearance in a 3-0 defeat at Fulham.

A brief spell with the now defunct Leigh RMI followed before the midfielder turned his attention to coaching.

Critchley was recently handpicked by the FA to undertake UEFA’s first elite badge course, the highest possible qualification in the game, and subsequently he is one of only 16 people in the country with the qualification.

In fact, the course, which took 18 months to complete, puts Critchley amongst the top-graded coaches in Europe.

His move to Kirby had been on the cards since last month when Crewe boss Steve Davis revealed to local newspaper The Sentinel that an approach had been made.

“Neil’s done a brilliant job with the young players that we’ve all seen come through, and some who have been and gone after he’s helped them develop into better players,” commented Davis.

“I’ve a lot of time and respect for him. If he chooses to go to Liverpool we will all wish him well.

“You look at our record, what we have produced and what we have sold over the past year – three top players – and that is all down to the standard of our coaches.”

The ‘top players’ in question are likely to include Nick Powell and Ashley Westwood who both now ply their trade in the Premier League with Manchester United and Aston Villa respectively.

Critchley replaces Steve Cooper who has left the club after just one season in the role.

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