A selection of Liverpool Football Club-related stories and titbits you may have missed over the past seven days…
Liverpool FC are to rename Anfield’s Centenary Stand in honour of Kenny Dalglish, the club has confirmed. The Scot, 66, scored 172 goals in 515 appearances for the Reds and also twice managed the Merseysiders. An official renaming ceremony will take place later in the year at a yet to be confirmed date.
Emre Can has described his stunning strike in Monday’s win at Watford as the ‘best goal I’ve ever scored’. In quotes published by the official website, the German said: “The ball came, a great ball from Lucas, and I just did it and I was happy the ball went in! I couldn’t do anything else there, because the ball was a little bit behind and I couldn’t head it. I didn’t think too much and then I scored and I think I will never score [a goal like that] again! It was a special goal but I’m very happy that we got the three points, it was the most important [thing]. It was the best goal I’ve ever scored. It was an unbelievable goal!”
The goal has been included on a final four shortlist for the club’s official Goal of the Season award. The other strikes included are Sadio Mane’s solo effort at Arsenal, the long-range drive from Jordan Henderson against Chelsea and Roberto Firmino’s crucial blast past Stoke City. The winner will be announced at the annual Players’ Awards, to be held at Anfield on Tuesday, May 9.
At the other end of the pitch, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who produced a commanding performance against the Hornets, has outlined the determination of the players to secure a top four finish. “Everyone is united and everyone is willing to fight for each other,” remarked the Belgium international via the Liverpool ECHO. “There are no bad characters in there. There’s a really good spirit. We’re hungry to play in the Champions League. We know what it means, not only for us, but also for the fans of the club. The history of this great club has been all about fighting at the top end of the Premier League and against the best teams in Europe. Everybody wants it so much and we’re going to keep fighting for it. We have three finals left to play.”
Former Reds star and current youth coach Steven Gerrard has been confirmed as manager of the club’s U18 side for next season. The ex-England captain will replace Neil Critchley, who steps up to U23 level. “I have really enjoyed my time at the Academy so far,” commented Gerrard when discussing his new position with Liverpoolfc.com. “And feel I have learnt a lot from the coaching staff here already. After speaking to Alex Inglethorpe [Academy director], we feel as though it is time for me to step up and manage my own team. Neil has done a fantastic job with the U18s, so I hope I can continue where he left off, encouraging and nurturing players into the U23s and eventually the first-team setup.”
According to the Telegraph, defender Dejan Lovren’s new contract is worth just shy of £100,000-per-week and will take the Croatian through to the summer of 2021 with the option to extend by a further year. Speaking about the deal shortly after putting pen to paper on Friday, Lovren revealed: “This is one special day for me and my family. I think I am the happiest guy [in the world] today, it’s another dream come true. It was always my dream to stay as long as possible at one club that I love – and that is Liverpool.”
Fans who pre-order the new 2017/18 home kit over the coming days will receive a £10 LFC Retail voucher and a special certificate of authenticity. The New Balance strip, unveiled this past Friday, celebrates the club’s 125th anniversary and can be pre-ordered ahead of the May 19 release date at official club stores and online now.
On-loan Liverpool attacker Ryan Kent has been named Barnsley’s Young Player of the Year. The 20-year-old has played 43 league games for the Championship club this season, contributing three goals.
A much-changed Liverpool U23s secured a place in the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup on Wednesday with a 6-0 thrashing of Rochdale. Yan Dhanda was a key performer with two goals and two assists, while Tom Brewitt, Toni Gomes (2) and Matty Virtue were also on target. Mike Garrity’s team will meet either Fleetwood Town or Blackburn Rovers in the final. LFC U23s: Kelleher, K. Lewis, Hart, Masterson, Whelan (McAuley 75′), Brewitt, J. Williams, Virtue, T. Gomes, M. Gomes (Adekanye 66′), Dhanda.
Liverpool U18s suffered disappointment in their final home game of the season as they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea at Kirkby on Saturday. Tariq Uwakwe scored the only goal of a hard-fought contest in which the hosts were ultimately denied a reward for their endeavours by a mixture of poor finishing and good goalkeeping. The U18s finish off their 2017/18 campaign on Saturday, May 13 at Manchester City. LFC U18s: Grabara, Sharif, Glennon, Masterson, Johnston, Coyle, Adekanye (Camacho 74′), A Lewis, Simmonds (Longstaff 77′), Jones, Millar (McAuley 82′).
Rising star Rhian Breswster, who scored three goals in four appearances during qualification, has been named in England’s squad for the U17 European Championship in Croatia. The junior Three Lions will face Norway, Ukraine and the Netherlands in the group stage, with their first match coming against Norway later today (Thursday, May 4).
Natasha Harding scored twice and provided an assist as Liverpool Ladies won an entertaining encounter with Reading Women 4-2 at the Select Security Stadium on Friday night. Scott Rogers’ side took the lead in the opening minute but found themselves 2-1 down just six minutes later. Goals from Caroline Weir and Laura Coombs aided Harding in turning the deficit into all three points. LFC Ladies: Chamberlain, Hodson, Greenwood, Bonner, Ingle, Zelem, Coombs, Weir, Harding, Charles (Johnson 79′), Van De Sanden (Longhurst 85′).
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