Thursday, 11 June 2009

Liverpool appoint Achterberg as youth goalkeeping coach

Liverpool have bolstered their Academy staff by appointing Tranmere stalwart John Achterberg reports the Post. Achterberg has spent the past 11 years across the Mersey at Prenton Park will move to the Anfield outfit as a goalkeeping coach, working primarily with the reserves and youth teams under Xavi Valero’s stewardship.

The Dutchman, who turns 38 next month, made more than 300 appearances for Rovers since arriving in England from FC Eindhoven in 1998, was player-goalkeeping coach at Tranmere, acting as understudy in the first team to Danny Coyne.

Achterberg said: “This is a dream chance – I need to take it with both hands. It’s a massive wrench for me to leave Tranmere after so many years, the fans there have always been so great to me and hopefully they always will be. I’d like to think that the Tranmere fans will understand my move however as I’m joining one of the best clubs in the world.” He said: “A chance like this doesn’t come along too often. Coaching is the future for myself, I’d been doing more and more of it at Tranmere in recent years and that’s where I needed to progress. In the same way you want to play at the best club possible as a player you want to do the same as a coach. When you hear a whisper that Liverpool might want you there’s not much thinking needed in your decision – you need to do what is best for yourself.”

Achterberg, will be reunited at Melwood with former Tranmere colleague John McMahon who has replaced Gary Ablett as Liverpool’s reserve team manager. He said: “It will be nice to work with John. I’ve always got on really well with him and have a very positive work relationship. I can’t wait to start. I’ve already met Rafa (Benitez) twice and I’ll be speaking to Xavi (Valero) soon to discuss our plans for training.”

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