Well we can start saying that In 1998, a new (outstanding) Youth Academy was opened in Kirkby (Merseyside) It replaced the old, more informal youth soccer system, and enabled the club to focus a lot more on their youth development and scouting process, in full respect of the FA standards and guidelines.
At the new Academy 4 full size soccer fields were constructed, including one with a hybrid surface. There are also 7 smaller 9v9 fields, a goalkeeper pitch and the most incredible indoor arena. The Academy also houses several classrooms for academic teaching of young players that have been pulled from school. The grounds total area is 56 acres. On the walls of the indoor facility hang huge boards with the words ‘Technique’, ‘Attitude’, ‘Balance’ and ‘Speed’. ‘TABS’ is the key word preached at The Academy.
The Liverpool FC Scouts attend several local youth games and tournaments seeking talented future professional soccer players. If the scouts do identify an interesting element they will then be then invited to attend training sessions at the Kirkby Academy. Soccer players are at this time taken in as young as the age of 7. Take for example the former England International player Jamie Carragher, he started at Liverpool FC Academy when he was just 9 years of age, with legendary soccer forward Michael Owen joining the LFC Academy at just 10, and needless to say the one and only Steven Gerrard joining at the age of 8. Liverpool Football Club won the 2005 UEFA Champions League with two locally born academy graduates, that actually started in that final.
There is an emphasis on developing local youth soccer players from the city of Liverpool and the Midlands, however as time has gone by, many more youth athletes are being scouted to the LFC Academy from across the United Kingdom and the rest of the world- some of whom even carrying $XXX,XXX transfer fees.