In this week's column, head of education and welfare Phil Roscoe, explains how the club maintains a commitment to young players who are unable to make it in the first-team once they leave Liverpool.

Phil is also assistant Academy manager, and so he is tasked with overseeing the welfare of the Academy's 198 young players from the elite development squad, U18s and U9-U16 schoolboy programme.

He reveals in this week's piece for, how that role is quite often extended out to those who have departed the Kirkby Academy, and return seeking advice or assistance.

It's hard sometimes to pick one or two moments that define why you love working at the club's Academy.

It's hard to pick out moments that you think were high or low points, because there are so many things that go on here on an almost daily basis that result in personal satisfaction. 

One of obvious major positives of the job is when a boy progresses to Melwood full-time and is able to go and play for the first team, it brings you a huge amount of pride.

That's clearly a high, not just for me, but for everyone involved at the whole academy from top to bottom. It shows us that our system is working and there are a lot of people involved in making it work; it's not just the work that is done on the field, it's the work that is done off it too.

But there are other aspects that can often make me equally proud. Like when a player is not quite able to make the standard required at Liverpool Football Club, but we're able to help him find another career at another club.

We're able to help a boy go and earn a scholarship in America, or we're able to help a player who has left and has been away from the game for six months or a year back into the sport.

When they come back, they might want to start coaching or want a little more career advice - and we're more than happy to help.

In the last month we've had nine players, who used to play for Liverpool as scholars, get in touch with myself and Clive Cook, our education and welfare officer, and they've been welcomed back in to the Academy.

We're now currently in the process of helping these lads map out where they want to go and what they are going to do in their lives.

Some left the club a long time ago, but we're still there to offer our full support. And that's as satisfying for me sometimes as a player going up to Melwood and making it in the senior side.

Our main target will always be that of pushing players through to the first team and helping to produce talent for the club and the fans, but seeing boys who have been here and didn't quite make it, succeed with our help, is equally fulfilling.

It's never nice to see any player injured, but to watch Jordan Williams return to the U18s after such a long time out last week was a fantastic moment.

Also, watching the players who have been out for a long time like Brad Smith, Marc Pelosi and Samed Yesil returning to fitness is again so satisfying and is a great credit to Andy Renshaw and his medical team. 

I get a similar feeling when, on any given day, I go and watch the sheer amount of commitment that is put into our football programme, not just from the boys who are full-time in the U18s and U21s, but by the lads who are in school and come in on day-release.

They make a massive commitment. They go in to school in the morning, then they come to the Academy and train in the afternoon, then the evening and then they go and do it all again the next day.

It's great to see because it shows that we have young people here who are willing to sacrifice a lot to get to where they want to be.

And in an age when young people sometimes tend to get a bit of a bad press, to watch young lads being so committed and disciplined and having a focus is for me what makes the job worthwhile.

There are some people out there who aren't like that - but I'm telling you, there are some good youngsters here, who are striving to be the best they possibly can be.

And it all has to start somewhere. You might remember reading one of our Academy columns earlier this year that Frank McParland wrote, in which he talked about how our latest intake of U9 players were welcomed by the manager at a special ceremony in April.

Watch the video here »

I'm glad to report that those boys are all settling in well. The new group have been nothing short of fantastic.

There's a lot of great work going in with them, led by Steve Torpey, Ian Barrigan, Darren Hughes all the part-time scouting staff and all the pre-Academy coaches who work with them.

The young lads have been getting used to our coaching programme over the past couple of months and my involvement with these boys has started where I begin to learn about what they are like on and off the field and support the coaches in anyway I can. 

The problems that an eight or nine-year-old player will encounter are, of course, totally different to that of a 16-year-old boy. So the focus is totally different - it's usually something that can be dealt with by the coaching staff, or by Steve Torpey, who is the lead coach, rather than me.

I've been working from a distance as far as these young lads are concerned; I've been getting to know their faces, speaking with their coaches and dealing with any little problems that may occur.