Damien Comolli discusses Liverpool future

Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli admits increased competition to sign young players means the club must prioritise British-born talent in their search for the next generation of Anfield academy stars.

In his first interview since joining the club following New England Sports Ventures' takeover, Comolli set down his blueprint for taking the club forward under the new American owners, with the development of the club's youth programmes paramount in his plans.

With Premier League clubs casting their nets ever wider in the search for up-and-coming stars, the academy education that once was the preserve of British youngsters has been extended to overseas talent.

Comolli admits Liverpool will still employ a global scouting network, but said the club's priority will be to retain a core element of English talent, typified in the current squad by the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

"We really want to concentrate on getting young English or British kids. I think that's very important if we want to keep an identity to get those kids into the football club," Comolli told www.liverpoolfc.tv.

"Usually the big European clubs don't come into England to get players so there will be massive competition in England with all the other big clubs, and then if we need to go abroad or decide to bring in a young kid from a foreign country because we think he's a top talent then there will be competition with other clubs.

"There are two things. You need to spot them, identify them, make sure they've got the right attitude, the right mentality, the right spirit that you want them around on a day-to-day basis.

"The second thing is convincing them to come. That requires a lot of time, it requires a skill set from the scouts, or from myself."

Comolli revealed he expects former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish to have a big role to play in the recruitment of young players in his role as academy ambassador.

"I'm sure Kenny can have a massive impact if he meets the kid or his parents," Comolli continued.

"That's almost the most difficult part. Spotting a fantastic player is not that difficult, convincing them to come to us, that comes back to competition and that can be more difficult.

"We will have to be very, very good at it."

He added: "The academy comes under my remit and I'm really looking forward to helping the guys continue to develop. I think for the last 12 or 15 months they have worked very well.

"I had time to look at the coaching programmes and what they are trying to do. They are very eager, motivated, they want to develop players, they want to get the best for the club, they want to be one of the leading academies in Europe."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss