In the third instalment of our weekly feature keeping fans up to date with goings on at the Academy, head of education and welfare Phil Roscoe writes about youngsters making the transition to the first team.
Roscoe, who is also assistant academy manager, oversees the academic progression of the club's 198 young players from the Elite Development Squad, U18s and U9-U16 schoolboy programme.
Here's his second column for Liverpoolfc.com...
Last time round, I wrote about the importance of keeping players grounded and instilling in them the necessary attributes to be a Liverpool player.
This week I would like to talk about the lads who have made the step up from our Kirkby Academy to Melwood over the past couple of years - the likes of Jon Flanagan, Jack Robinson and more recently Andre Wisdom, Suso, Raheem Sterling and Conor Coady.
It's great when you have worked with any player and you see them progress to our first team. It's also good when you see them progress to other first teams around the country and make livings out of the game.
If we had a player who didn't quite make it as a footballer but was able to make a really good living as a coach, or was to go to university and get a degree and progress into other areas of football or areas of business, then that would give us just as much pleasure, really.
In the end, we are developing people and we want them to be successful; when they deserve it, when they have got the right traits, when they have developed the right attitude.
So much effort goes into developing players. From the coaching staff to the full-time staff, to all the great work the part-time staff do with the players that come through.
Then there are the house parents, the caterers, the sports scientists, the physios etc. They are all part of the 'team behind the team', working exceptionally hard to get these boys through to the first team.
I think it gives everyone a great deal of pleasure to see the lads progress. I'm delighted they have achieved their dream, the first team has gained another Academy-developed player and I have helped, along with many others, to make that possible through support and educational experience.
But the players also know that if they need anything we're still here for them.
They have now got the Melwood staff, who will do an unbelievable job with them. The next focus, I believe, for us needs to be on the next crop of young talent. I think: "Let's move on to the next player, or group of players, who can push through to the first team."
The players who progress often come back and play U21 games or come back just to say hello. They always know that we are here for them and that if they need any advice or help or support it's there.
The same applies to the families of those players. We're there if they ever need to come and speak to us.
When working with young players you have to be prepared to help them in whatever they need, whenever they need it and some players require more assistance than others.
This has seen over the years my work become really focused on several individuals, not only helping them move to the area but also settle into life in Liverpool. It has involved helping players' families move and adapt to Liverpool life if they have come from distance.
It's also about helping local players and becoming immersed in their day-to-day life to help guide and assist the player on what route and choices are best for them. You end up becoming a massive part of these young players' lives. And for me, that is a very privileged position to be in.
When the player moves to Melwood, he becomes part of the lives of the staff there and they can offer all the outstanding support needed for a player to keep progressing.
The focus then, as stated earlier, must be switched to helping mould the next potential first-team player. You are part of a conveyor belt which must not stop moving the next set of talented players forward.
The focus on football and footballers and the external distractions today are huge.
At Liverpool we can provide the best coaching and the best care but the players have to meet us halfway and commit themselves. They have to take ownership of the opportunity they have been given.
Think about the focus and the emphasis on our players. Our U18 games are on TV, our NextGen games are on TV, our Youth Cup games are on TV, our U21 games are on TV and when our boys play in the Victory Shield, that's on Sky Sports.
There was one player who played for the first team this year. I went onto his Twitter page the day before and he had around 3,000 followers. The next morning, having played for the first team, I checked his page again and he had 25,000. This is the reality of modern-day football.
This is the focus and the emphasis that we are talking about and it's intense at Liverpool in particular because of the scale of our fanbase. These pressures are not going to go away, they are going to increase.
If a boy is able to understand the negatives and positives of social media, for example, then that will benefit him in the future. And not all boys will behave the right way - they will all make mistakes, but they have to learn from those mistakes.
It must be said though, that at times you have to take a step back and remember that, on one hand you are working with a very talented player, but on the other you are working with a teenager. You say: "Yes, this boy has got to behave like a professional but the player is also a 15-year-old lad."
It's about that constant battle, where you need to let the player play and be disciplined and be a Liverpool player but also allow him to be a 15-year-old.
The lads who progress to be signed by Liverpool as a schoolboy, as a scholar, as a professional; they give up so much of their time, their parents' and their family's time to get to that position. So if you are going to do that, then why waste it?
I've seen players who have been here since U9 level and they get to U17 and U18 and get distracted and lose focus. I say to them: "You have given 10 years of your life to this, why throw it away?"
Check out our fourth Academy column on Liverpoolfc.com next Friday.