|Job||xxxx Football Coach|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Liverpool [Youth Coach]|
2019 01 21 Retrieve
[Why Ki-Jana Hoever’s rise is set to inspire Liverpool’s talented young stars] I am enjoying being part of it and I’m privileged to lead the team in it. We want to win it and we’ll go full at it. It does carry a lot of prestige, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
[Even better that Curtis Jones and Rafa Camacho, 17 and 18 respectively, made their senior bows in the same game. Lewtas, of course, worked with both during his spell as under-16s coach] It’s a big motivation for us coaches, to be working with players that could end up being required by the first team. And it must be a big motivation for the boys as well when they see their peers being asked to go up and train or play
We were in the airport on the way back from a tournament in Germany before the [Wolves] game, and few of the boys were speaking to Curtis on FaceTime. They are team-mates, but they’re also friends. We certainly use it in terms of showing them that there is a pathway here. If you train hard, if you perform and get the opportunity to go to Melwood then you need to take that chance. The boys who have gone up there have certainly impressed. If you are capable of doing that the manager will keep you there and work with you.
[with Klopp’s defensive options decimated by injury over the Christmas period, there was no hesitation in sending the teenager up to Melwood to train. There, Hoever held his own against the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, earning himself a chance when Klopp rotated for the cup] We flew back from Germany so I had to rush home to watch the game. I got in just in time. And when [Dejan] Lovren got injured and the camera panned to Trent [Alexander-Arnold], I thought ‘interesting, Trent playing centre back?’ Then I saw Ki-Jana put his top on, it was like ‘wow!’
[So what did he make of his performance?] Listen, I can’t lay claim to Ki-Jana because he hasn’t been here that long but I was nervous, especially when he started taking everyone on!. Basically, you don’t want him to fail on the things you’ve worked with him on in training!
But I thought he showed an awful lot of composure against an experienced team. He was very mature and did ever so well.
It’s great. Wherever you work, if someone gets a promotion, you’re chuffed for them, as long as they aren’t taking your spot! I’m made up for all three of them. Curtis has been here an extremely long time. To walk in here at the age of seven or eight and then pull on the shirt for the first team was great for him.
It was nice to speak to Ki-Jana’s dad in Holland and hear how happy he was. There’s a real feel-good factor when it happens
2020 03 18 Retrieve
[Meet Layton Stewart, Liverpool’s latest young goal machine] He’s been with us a long time. ney is a long one, there are plenty of parts he wants to improve but in fairness to him, he’s been attentive, he’s bought in from day one and he’s been listening every day
2020 05 28 Retrieve
[Barry Lewtas says Norris and Hill head latest group of Academy stars] It’s a very good group. It’ll be exciting to see if they can hit the ground running. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they develop. You can judge a season in different ways. From the outside, people may say we went out of the Youth Cup early and we were so many points behind Manchester City in the league, but it’s not just about that
[Tom Hill started the game and the Formby-based forward’s development has been particularly eye-catching] It’s been a really good season for him. Tom was in my team at Under-12s, and then at the back end of last year, just before the Youth Cup final, we travelled to America for the Dallas Cup. Tom and Layton Stewart came with us. He played against New York City. It was their Under-19 team and we basically played an under-17 side, but Tom was brilliant. He really impressed me that day with his attitude and commitment, and when he came back for pre-season, he carried that on. He’s very coachable, his attitude is spot on and his levels are good. He earned his place in the team. Credit to him, every challenge that’s been put down in front of him he’s risen to. He’s very good out of possession, he is intelligent and understands that part of the game and how important it is. As a coach, you can trust him in those situations. He’s very tenacious, but he’s also got a real knack of running forward in key areas. He creates chances and he scores goals, and if you were listing skills for an attacking midfielder or a forward, they’d rank quite high wouldn’t they?! He’s someone with a lot of attributes. He’s had a really good season, and I’m so pleased for him because he’s worked so hard.
[on James Norris] He’ll perhaps be one of the more disappointed ones about how the season has ended. But he’s been a real good performer for us. He’s played in most of the games, and he’s moved up to the 23s and played there. I wanted to give him experience of playing different positions this season. We wanted to expand parts of his game technically, put him under a little bit of pressure. He’s been a real good performer for us. He’s had a real impact. He’s competitive, hates losing, and he sets good standards every single day
[on Billy Koumetio] He’s done really well. He’s got a head start on the rest of the Under-16s coming up next year. An opportunity came up this season and he took it. He’s had good exposure to Under-18s football. He’s probably played a few positions that aren’t natural to him, but he was a starter from day one, and that says a lot. It’ll be interesting to see how he evolves. When you come out of the schoolboy programme, that’s when you start forming a bit of an identity as a player and as a person. It becomes your job, and it’s about how you commit to it every day. I think he’ll be an attacking midfielder, a No.8, but he’s played deeper at times this season. That’s important. When I look at Premier League midfielders now, and let’s take Liverpool as an example, they can play in a number of positions. (Jordan) Henderson and (Gini) Wijnaldum are perfect examples. For a midfielder, you have to have as much as they can in your armoury. It’s always exciting to see how the boys coming up develop. They’re swapping school for work, if you like. There is interest and attention, the scores get published now and you get a bit of profile. It is all a challenge and you have to rise to it, but I think they will. It’s a good group, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they all progress