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Premier League

The return of the 'Spice Boys': Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Rob Jones return to Liverpool in coaching roles

Brendan Rodgers has brought the trio back to Anfield to assist the youngsters

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has embraced the club's rich past in order to develop its future by drafting in former stars Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Rob Jones to help coach academy youngsters.

The trio, with almost 1,000 appearances for the Reds between them, are assisting the under-21s and under-18s squads at their Kirkby base.

"Sometimes managers feel the need to distance themselves from players like that but I love what this institution is all about at Liverpool," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"I want to protect that great history to ensure these players get the opportunity to be involved at a club they love.

"We lost a true great in Jamie Carragher [who retired to become a television pundit] this summer and you need people around who love the club dearly.

"If you look throughout the club now, we have lots of staff from this area. We have Mike Marsh on the staff with the first team - a local boy who came through and played for the first team.

"Frank McParland, our academy director, knows the area inside-out and guys like that are very important to me in understanding the culture of Liverpool.

"Getting the likes of Robbie, Steve and Rob involved is all part of that. They offer wisdom, they have played at the top level and they also understand what playing for Liverpool Football Club is all about."

The trio were all closely associated with the Spice Boys era of the 1990s, a period which did not reflect brilliantly on the club with players' lifestyles often portrayed as being more significant than their jobs, but Rodgers knows they have plenty to offer the potential stars of the future.

Fowler scored 183 goals in 369 appearances for the Reds and the Toxteth-born striker was a genuine Kop idol while McManaman, from Bootle, played 364 times for the Merseysiders and also scored in Real Madrid's Champions League final triumph over Valencia in 2000.

Jones featured 243 times and looked ready to become England's regular right-back only for injury to end his career early.