Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the launch of the club's first official coaching programme in South Africa today.

Together with partner Blue Crane Sports (Pty) Ltd, the Reds will deliver programmes teaching local children around both Durban and Johannesburg how to play the 'Liverpool Way'.

Working with young players aged between five and 14, the soccer schools will seek to improve football skills and help the students hone technical, tactical, physical and social aspects of the game through age-specific coaching sessions.

Official Liverpool coaches will travel out to South Africa to deliver the programmes, which kick off in December of this year, while a coach-education scheme will ensure that local trainers can benefit from the initiative.

A permanent player-development centre, based in Durban, will also provide a year-round opportunity for local young, talented players to develop their skills through coaching practices taught to the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Raheem Sterling.

Liverpool legend and club ambassador Ian Rush said: "Liverpool have a huge number of fans in South Africa, so it's fantastic that local young players are going to get the chance to train and develop their skills under our LFC coaches. This is a unique programme and we are confident that it will be well received by the participants.

"It's a great opportunity for youngsters to feel closer to the club they love and to get a real sense of what it's like to learn how to play the 'Liverpool Way'. We are looking forward to delivering the first coaching programmes in December this year."

Carlos Catalino, managing director of Blue Crane Sports, added: "We are excited about the partnership we have agreed with Liverpool FC to bring the very best technical expertise to the coaching programmes here in South Africa. We are aiming to provide a market-leading platform for local players to take their development to the next level.

"Through this initiative we will provide many opportunities for young players and coaches across the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, to really develop the game here in South Africa."

For more information on this project and for details on the December Liverpool FC Soccer Schools programme, click here. Also, you can visit Liverpool FC International Academy South Africa on Facebook by clicking here.