Liverpool Reserves (Re: Liverpool, better today)

Liverpool Reserves (Re: Liverpool, better today)

Post by Garry Arch » Thu, 08 Feb 1990 23:14:26


> ....
> To say that they have no standouts in the side is laughable...

> What about Barnes, Beardsley, Hansen, Hysen, Houghton, Nicol, Rush, and
> even the manager Dalgliesh who is still playing when the occasion suites
> him. The talent that plays for the reserve team is capable for starting
> on any other team in the league.

> ....

> Dr. Paul Mcarthur

> U of Utah  

Take it from me also, Liverpool Reserves is a very fine team in itself!

First I'll try and explain about Reserve teams in England.  (Some of you
others might want to help me out!)

English teams, at least, don't really have "farm" teams as they call them
in the U.S.A.  They have "reserve" teams and are actually an extension of
the "first" team, the team you all read about and watch on the telly.  As
with farm teams in the U.S., the purpose of the reserve team is to try out
new players (especially young ones) in an effort to give them experience,
match practice and to learn "the system".  Eventually, if a player gets
noticed, he is called up to play on the first team --- usually starting
out on the subs bench until he has convinced the manager that he has what
it takes to be a starter.  Also, as with U.S. farm teams, if a first team
player is off form for more than a few games, the manager will "drop" him
into the reserves for a few weeks until he learns to regain form.  Sometimes,
when a club buys a new player, even a multi-million pound star, he is given
a few games on the reserve team --- it depends on the quality of the reserve
team.  (i.e. Liverpool would do this, but lesser teams would want to start
their new stars on the first team right away!)

Earlier, when I said reserves are an actual extension of the first team, I
meant that you could essentially call the first team and the reserve team
the same squad.  They play at the same ground (stadium), they play in the
same colours and they have the same boss, The Manager.  The Manager usually
presides over his first team games though and there is a Reserve Team
Manager for the reserves.  The Manager essentially splits his club up into
two teams.  So when the first team plays away, the reserves play at home ---
usually a small crowd of fans who only watch home games, so one week they see
the first team and the next they see the reserves! Also, you don't pay as much
to see reserve teams :-)

So, many professional English teams have reserve teams that play in leagues
dedicated to reserve teams.  The Central League was for Midland and Northern
clubs and the Combination League was for mostly Southern clubs.  (At least
these were the names of the leagues several years ago before corporate
sponsors started to tag their names to the Football League's four divisions.)
There is no promotion and relegation.

Anyway, getting back to Liverpool's reserves.  They play in the Central League.
The team that I follow, Derby County, also have a team in the Central League,
so I have seen Liverpool Reserves on occassion at Derby's home ground, The
Baseball Ground (ask me why it's called that another day!).   Believe me,
Liverpool Reserves are (at least were) very good.  They were often champions
of the Central League, probably more often than the first team were Football
League Champions!  (I haven't seen any Central League records and standings
in quite a few years, so I'm sorry I can't give you the facts.)  Now, my
friends, there is a team with depth!  The reserves could indeed make many of
the first division's first team squads!


Health Systems International,           New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.

"An Englishman never enjoys himself, except for a noble purpose." - A.P.Herbert


Liverpool Reserves (Re: Liverpool, better today)

Post by William Cla » Thu, 08 Feb 1990 23:41:06

        Bill Shankley, the fabled Liverpool manager of the 1960's, always said
that there were two great soccer teams in Liverpool - Liverpool and Liverpool
Reserves! (With apologies to Everton fans)