Page 7 - The Twelfth Man - Issue 1
P. 7

Issue 1
Watch the Reds at the LFC Academy
How many of us have struggled to get accessible tickets to watch the mighty Reds at Anfield?
 Have been frustrated in members sales? Sound all too familiar? There may just be a simple, more often than not, free solution courtesy of our manager Jurgen Klopp.
Let’s turn the clock back to the 8th of October 2015, in what has turned out to be a momentous day in the illustrious of Liverpool Football Club as Jurgen was unveiled as our new manager.
It quickly became apparent to Jurgen that he had a major team overhaul on his hands, but at the time Liverpool FC was not in the best of health financially. Therefore, he felt that Liverpool needed to make their own stars, something the club had always strived to do.
But there was no masterplan in place so in stepped Jurgen to demand that every LFC team played the same way, the Klopp way, from the academy right up to the first team.
The academy as a whole was overhauled and I myself started attending
matches at the academy in Kirkby in around 2017 and found a modern facility.
But was it accessible and could it be as good as watching the first team?
From the moment you drive into the car park you can see that the academy staff care about making it accessible with a can-do attitude, yet do so without in general, being overbearing.
The academy car park is often full, but the stewards ensure the disabled bays are coned off, a simple act but one that ensures they are available for those that need them.
Just ask the stewards for a space and it appears, along with assistance if you need it to exit your vehicle, simple but very effective.
Once through the security gate, remember to take
ID, you are directed to the stewards at the far end of the road (about 100 yards) by the pitch side stand.
Here you will receive your “minder” but as before, the
LFC stewards understand that less is more, and are rarely overbearing. You are escorted into the academy building (about 100 yards) and then go up to the first floor.
As you exit the lift you are greeted by the European Cup, there is even space for a quick selfie with it too! You are then escorted past offices and importantly shown the location of accessible toilet.
Finally, you have to go through the main dining room onto the outside balcony
which offers a semi-sheltered fantastic view of the main academy pitch. Your “minder” now gets in the free hot drinks from the dining room, but you are also allowed to sit in the dining room just remember it is a working space and respect everyone’s privacy. You may now be wondering why I have not mentioned ramps etc. with the exception of the lift and the odd dropped kerb, it’s a virtually smooth run from the car to the balcony. If you need help you only need to ask, it’s that easy
to get to your spot to watch the mighty Reds but is it worth it?
The players walk past you on the road below, they appreciate a few words of encouragement and often acknowledge it. Then it’s the main act, the reason
for making the effort, but is
this akin to watching Liverpool FC first team? Well back in
2017 I personally saw enough early, encouraging, signs to keep me attending, but its
now halftime so back into the dining room for refreshments.
If you are lucky there may be
a chance to meet a legend, possibly even the king. As
you come back out onto the balcony there’s a golden sky and the Redmen are playing the same old Klopp way. The high press, the pinpoint cross-field passes, playing out from the back, sweeper keepers, yes
its all there. It doesn’t matter
on the age group the entire academy play the Klopp way, the stewards are happy to help if it’s needed, the accessibility
is first rate and as per the Liverpool Football Club strap line you are treated as family. Personally, I can think
of a better way to while
away a few hours and it is completely free of charge.
Andy Ellis Committee Member
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