Three senior Liverpool players take first steps towards coaching badges with club legend

Diogo Jota, Fabinho and Joel Matip hosted a coaching session for members of the Robbie Fowler Academy last week

Three Liverpool players have been using their time away from the rigorous demands of the Premier League to work towards their UEFA coaching badges.

Last Wednesday, Fabinho, Joel Matip and Diogo Jota hosted a session at Liverpool’s AXA Training Centre for the Robbie Fowler Academy. The Reds trio were joined by young academy talents James McConnell, Iwan Roberts and Oscar Kelly, who carried out various coaching qualifications on the same afternoon.

The session took place ahead of the Reds’ final Premier League game of the season against Southampton, where Jota scored two goals to help Liverpool salvage a 4-4 goal at St Mary’s.

In recent years it has not become uncommon for players from the first-team to drop down to the Academy pitches to run sessions as part of their UEFA coaching badges. During Jurgen Klopp’s time at the club, Adam Lallana and James Milner are two of the most high-profile players to have done so.

Such preparation during his time on Merseyside saw Lallana selected as Brighton and Hove Albion’s interim manager after Graham Potter moved to Chelsea in early September. However, the former England international was denied the chance to manage the Seagulls after Queen Elizabeth II passed away and all Premier League games were postponed as a result, and by the time league duties resumed Roberto de Zerbi’s appointment had been finalised.

Milner, who recently ended his eight-year stay at Anfield, has also put in the work behind the scenes and last year hinted at the prospect of transitioning into a coaching role after his playing days are over.

“I am taking my football coaching badges, but my only intention at present is to play football for as long as I can,” the former Reds midfielder told Gulf News in 2022. “Us footballers are retired from football for a long time.”