Andre Wisdom has revealed how coaching lessons from Jamie Carragher as a kid helped him become a Barclays Premier League player.
The 19-year-old defender was one of the beneficiaries as Carragher worked to earn his UEFA coaching licences.
Now the pair are playing together in the first team.
“I was in the U-16s,” Wisdom wrote in a column for Liverpool FC magazine. “I remember Jamie Carragher taking some of our sessions as part of his coaching qualifications. From there I progressed through the ranks.
“To now be playing with him is great. I learned a lot from him back then and I’m still learning a lot from him now. He’s still coaching me in training.
“In fact, I think he coaches everyone. He passes on so much information that he’s almost doing the job of a coach already.”
Wisdom was born in Leeds but did not get taken on by the Elland Road club. Instead it was Bradford who snapped him up before Liverpool’s Academy made an approach when he was 14.
Having always been big for his age, Wisdom stood out for both Liverpool and England at youth level — but these days he admits that size alone isn’t enough to cut it in the Premier League.
“In each of the games I’ve played someone has tried to wind me up or intimidate me,” he said. “It doesn’t work because I can look after myself. I enjoy giving banter back too.
“When I was younger my physical attributes would sometimes get me out of trouble. In the Premier League you can’t rely on those as much because a lot of the players are big, strong and quick. You have to be good both technically and tactically. Those are areas I’m always working on.”
Wisdom played in several positions while rising through the ranks in Kirkby, but he featured most often in the center of defense.
So far Brendan Rodgers has utilized the England U21 as a right-back — but will he revert to center-back in the coming years?
“A lot of people have asked if I’ll play center back in a few years’ time,” he explained. “I just want to be on the pitch. Honestly, I’ll play anywhere. I played right-wing for the U-18s and I could play in goal if I had to.”
Photo via Liverpoolfc.com