Steven Gerrard enjoying first pre-season as Liverpool U18 head coach
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 09/08/17 1:46pm
Steven Gerrard says he is enjoying his first pre-season as head coach of Liverpool's U18 side, but admits he wishes he was young enough to play under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
Gerrard called time on his illustrious career in November of last year, before starting his new role at Liverpool's academy in July.
The former England international has now guided the U18 side through their pre-season schedule, which included three friendlies and a training camp in Hungary, as well as a third-placed finish in a warm-up tournament in Switzerland.
Gerrard believes his transition from player to manager has gone smoothly and is now looking forward to his side's opening match of the season against Derby County on Friday.
"It's gone really well," Gerrard told Liverpool's website. "I've certainly enjoyed it from a personal point of view, it's great to be out there on the pitch every single day and working with my own team, so I'm learning every day and growing every day.
"As far as the team is concerned the team is close to where we want to be, fitness-wise we are probably 80 or 90 per cent and there is still a way to go, but that will come with the games now.
"The lads are shaping up OK and there's still lots to work on as well as you can imagine."
Gerrard was invited back to Liverpool by current boss Klopp, who pledged to give the former Reds captain all the help he needed in his attempts to move into management.
Gerrard left Liverpool to join LA Galaxy just months before Klopp arrived at Anfield and the 37-year-old admits he would have loved to have worked under the German during his own playing career.
"I miss the game as I've said on many occasions and in an ideal situation I'm 25 now and preparing for the Premier League season myself," Gerrard said.
"That's what we tell these players: you've got it all in front of you, you are so lucky, look at the facilities and place where you go to work and learn.
"You've got a manager [Jürgen Klopp] who gives kids a chance - the pathway is there for you if you want it, but you have to make sacrifices and become obsessed with growing and try to get there."