Pepijn Lijnders has thanked Liverpool's players, staff and supporters after it was confirmed the Dutchman is leaving the club to take charge of NEC Nijmegen.
After three-and-a-half years with the Reds, in the roles of U16s coach and first-team development coach, Lijnders has departed with immediate effect to take the reins of the second-placed side in the Netherlands’ second tier.
But first, he penned a special message of gratitude to those who have helped him progress and develop during his spells at the Academy and Melwood, which you can read in full below.
I could write for hours thanking the people at Liverpool who have helped me since I came here and the decision to leave has not been easy.
In general terms I would like to thank all the amazing players and staff at Melwood and the Academy at Kirkby, who I’ve been privileged to work with. Also, at Anfield – that is such a special place with special people and I never took for granted going to work at one of the greatest stadiums in the world every other week.
More specifically, I would like to thank Alex Inglethorpe, Michael Beale and Michael Edwards for the faith they showed in me, by giving me the opportunities here.
With Alex and Michael, I’m losing two football brothers, ones I share a passion with: youth development and creating a new generation of LFC talent. These talents will have answers for a lot of Anfield questions and their ‘Scouse mentality’ will give always the last necessary push. They will add flavour to future success.
To Brendan Rodgers, who promoted me to the first-team environment – I will always be in his debt for that.
Working with the first-team squad was magical. They confirmed every day that everything starts and ends with passion for the game. With the quality the club already has in the building, only time is against this project.
The Liverpool owners and Mike Gordon in particular I owe a lot to; being an owner of an institution such as Liverpool brings an awesome responsibility, but these guys have the best interests of the club at heart with every decision they make. I hope they get the success their work, investment and commitment deserves.
And, of course, Jürgen and his senior coaching staff. They took me, my wife and our children into their lives and hearts and made us feel part of their families also.
This club is so, so lucky to have someone of Jürgen’s calibre leading its football team – he is world-class, truly world-class and I hope to take many of the great lessons I learned from him, Zeljko Buvac, Peter Krawietz and John Achterberg into my own future leading a side.
Final thank-you is to the amazing Liverpool supporters; no group of people in the world deserve success more than them and I know with the position the club is in, that success is not too far away.
The words of Mike Gordon and Jürgen gave me the best feeling in my worst moment at LFC. Saying goodbye is never easy but saying goodbye to the ones who gave you everything was the hardest thing I have had to do for a long while.
To be honest, you don’t really say goodbye to Liverpool Football Club, because you will always have to represent its honesty and passion wherever you go. It’s a stamp on your back.
I’m proud of each day I could represent them directly and I will give my best to do so in my next chapter. Hopefully they will be proud of me as well.
You’ll Never Walk Alone.