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Steven Gerrard returns to Liverpool academy as coach

Steven Gerrard will serve as a coach at Liverpool academy, which he joined as a player at age 9.
(Oli Scarff / AFP/Getty Images)

Former Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard has returned to where his soccer career began, joining Liverpool as a coach at the club’s Kirkby academy.

Gerrard, who served as captain for Liverpool and the English national team, joined the Liverpool academy as a 9-year-old and went on to play 17 Premier League seasons for the Reds. He made 34 appearances for the Galaxy in 1½ MLS seasons in which he was plagued by hamstring problems.

Gerrard, 36, will begin his new job next month although he is already a familiar presence at the academy, where he has visited with many of the young players while working on his coaching badges.

“It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began,” he said in a statement issued by Liverpool. “However, this isn’t a decision based on emotion — it’s about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool.

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“I don’t think I need to explain to people what this football club means to me. But when I knew coming back was a serious option I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role and a role in which I could really help the organization.

“This gives me a great opportunity to learn and develop as a coach, while at the same time offering my knowledge, ideas and experience to the young players at an important period of their development.”

Gerrard made 710 appearances, scoring 186 goals and winning 10 trophies with the Reds before heading for MLS midway through the 2015 season.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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Twitter: kbaxter11


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