Friday 21 October 2016

Rodgers taps into O'Driscoll 'vision'

Liverpool have confirmed the appointment of Sean O'Driscoll as their new assistant manager.

The former Bournemouth, Doncaster, Crawley, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City boss moves to Anfield after a spell in charge of England Under-19s.

The 58-year-old takes over as Brendan Rodgers' number two from Colin Pascoe, who was sacked last month following a robust end-of-season review.

Liverpool have also announced that Academy boss Pep Lijnders will step up to a newly-created role of first team development coach.

Both men began work as Liverpool returned to their Melwood base for the start of pre-season training today.

Rodgers said: "I have made these appointments because I want to take us in a new technical direction, in terms of coaching.

"I believe the entire first-team set-up will benefit and I am extremely positive and excited about what we can achieve, as a group, going forward."

Lijnders is not a direct replacement for first-team coach Mike Marsh, whose contract was not renewed in June. The Dutchman will continue to work with the elite youth talent at the Academy but will now play a greater role in the first-team set-up.

It is understood the club are still looking to add a new first-team coach to the backroom staff.

The coaching shake-up comes as Rodgers looks to reinvigorate his squad - which has already been supplemented by the signing of six players - after last season's disappointing sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.

Rodgers has previously spoken of the qualities of O'Driscoll, who has never managed in the top flight but has considerable experience after close to 40 years in the game.

Rodgers said in a statement: "My admiration for Sean, as a professional, is well documented. He is someone with a clear vision and philosophy and has proved he has the ability to transfer that knowledge, through his coaching, to the players.

"I am looking forward to working with him and also learning from his experiences and gaining valuable knowledge from his expertise."

O'Driscoll added: "I am excited to be joining one of the world's most iconic football clubs. From the moment I drove into Melwood last week and was greeted by Kenny the gate man, I could not have been made to feel more welcome."

Lijnders, who previously had roles at PSV Eindhoven and FC Porto, has impressed since taking charge of Liverpool's U16s side last year. His new position will focus much more on elite player development.


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