Shrewsbury’s Callum Lang hopes to realise dream of scoring against Liverpool

For the 21-year-old Lang, on a season-long loan at Montgomery Waters Meadow from Wigan, the fourth-round tie will be personal

Ian Parker
Saturday 25 January 2020 13:22
Comments
The forward was 10 when he joined Liverpool’s academy
The forward was 10 when he joined Liverpool’s academy

As an Everton fan, Shrewsbury striker Callum Lang grew up dreaming about scoring against Liverpool.

On Sunday, he will try to dump Jurgen Klopp’s world and European champions out of the FA Cup.

For the 21-year-old Lang, on a season-long loan at Montgomery Waters Meadow from Wigan, the fourth-round tie will be personal.

Lang was at Anfield when a youthful Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 in the third round three weeks ago – his suffering enhanced as he was made to sit amid the home fans with his girlfriend’s family – but the result gives him a chance to face a club whose academy he once played in.

Lang was 10 when he joined Liverpool’s academy, playing alongside the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold in their development teams, but he was at least spared from having to pull on a red shirt.

“In the development squad you wore your own kit,” Lang said. “I wore an England kit to keep it safe. I didn’t have it in me to wear the Everton kit. My dad wanted me to wear it, but England was safer.”

Despite his Everton connections, Lang admitted it was still a brutal day when he was released by Liverpool.

“When you get let go, you are gutted,” he said. “You’re crying like every kid is when they get released. Straight after that I went to Bolton and the same thing happened.

“As a kid your dream is to play football and it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen, but I went to Wigan and they gave me a contract straight away.”

Lang has since spent time out on loan at Morecambe and last season was at Oldham, where he wrote FA Cup headlines with the winner over then Premier League club Fulham in the third round.

“That is probably the highlight of my career so far,” Lang said. “It was such a big game and I had all my family there. The way the game went, from 1-0 down to getting the equaliser, scoring the penalty and then scoring late, it was just the way it worked.

“It is a moment I will never forget. I still look at the video all the time.”

Lang admitted last season had been a strange one, with Oldham sacking Frankie Bunn before Paul Scholes’ brief, ill-fated spell in charge, but one he feels helped him develop.

His season-long loan at Shrewsbury has been hampered by a metatarsal injury which sidelined him for three months, returning in early January, but he is looking to take further steps under Sam Ricketts, who has his own ideas for Lang’s development.

“This is only my assessment but I think he’s very similar to Diogo Jota at Wolves,” said Ricketts, who has encouraged Lang to study videos of the Portugal forward.

“He can play in a top two or drop into a three, he can go wide. He’s a goalscorer but he’s quick. They’re very, very similar players. Not big in height, in stature, but a nuisance to play against. Langy is very similar.”

Now Lang is hoping to be a thorn in the side for Liverpool this weekend.

“As a kid all I dreamed of was coming off the bench and scoring a little header last minute against Liverpool at Goodison or Anfield.

“Obviously if I can do it here that would be just as special. It is such a special moment for the club and I’m sure it will give me the same sort of feeling doing it in a Shrewsbury shirt as it would an Everton one.

“It is the stuff of dreams as a kid and a moment I have thought of since I was a boy.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in