Road to SuperCupNI – Liverpool

Jul 21, 2023 | General, Elite Section | 0 comments

Road to SuperCupNI – a special series of short reads for our 40th anniversary tournament.

We’re inviting teams to tell us a little about themselves, how preparations are going and what coming to Northern Ireland to participate in SuperCupNI means to them.

Next up in the series – Liverpool FC.

U18 manager Marc Bridge-Wilkinson of Liverpool (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool FC U18 manager Marc Bridge-Wilkinson is looking forward to making his debut at the SuperCupNI in 2023.

Although he enjoyed a league career of almost 400 appearances, he never got the chance to play or coach at the tournament until now.

A creative midfielder in his playing days, Bridge-Wilkinson is entering his fourth season as the Reds’ U18s coach and is excited at the experience ahead for his team who will take on Valencia, Manchester United and Hertha Berlin in their Elite section matches.

U18 manager Marc Bridge-Wilkinson (right) of Liverpool with assistant Jay Spearing at AXA Training Centre on August 13, 2022 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

He said: “I’ve never been to the tournament before but it’s something I’ve known about for a long, long time so I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.

“We’re fortunate to have been invited and really glad to go.

“Playing against teams from different nationalities with different cultures and different backgrounds who play football in a slightly different way is something we try to achieve during the season.

“That challenge in itself is going to be exciting at the SuperCup, playing against some really top clubs, with a proven record of producing youth players so it’s something we’re all looking forward to and it will be a really nice opportunity.”

Trent Kone-Doherty of Liverpool and Daniel Maher of Everton in action during the U18 Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Finch Farmon November 26, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

And Bridge-Wilkinson is well aware that his young charges could be playing in front of some decent crowds in their games at Coleraine and Ballymena.

“We know how many Liverpool fans we have in Northern Ireland and hopefully we can get the chance to play in front of a good few of them.

“That big crowd feeling is something we can’t recreate without going to tournaments like this so we’re really thankful for the opportunity to come.

Jayden Danns of Liverpool celebrates scoring the 4th goal during the game between Liverpool U18 v Leeds United U18 at AXA Training Centre on April 14, 2023 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

“It’s another part of the development for the boys that they get to play in front of these crowds, it’s special.”

Watch SuperCupNI 2023 Elite Section featuring Liverpool, Manchester United, Valencia and Hertha Berlin exclusively on Recast.