Pepijn Lijnders was in Wales at the weekend to continue his UEFA Pro Licence qualification by delivering a demonstration and presentation at the FAW National Coaches Conference.
Liverpool’s first team development coach returned to the event, held in Newport, for the third time, to share his and the club’s philosophies on subjects such as pressing, periodisation and playing styles.
The conference holds particularly fond memories for the Dutchman, who took the decision to join the Reds’ Academy from FC Porto in 2014 after conversations with former U23s manager Michael Beale around the event that year.
Lijnders has since become a key part of Jürgen Klopp’s coaching staff, of course, and took the opportunity to explain the approaches being used at Melwood to drive Liverpool toward success.
“There is a saying that you are a product of your own environment and luckily the environment created by the Welsh FA is based on respect and on high standards – attention to detail. They don’t force, they try to guide you,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“The demonstration was about implementing pressing and counter-pressing behaviour, creating a collective attitude to attack the opposition without the ball.
“There were probably 250 coaches watching. I always feel proud to represent Liverpool. I feel it is important for people to know about our vision, our future and our ideology.
“The more you share, the more you will get back, and the more you share the more you have to rethink your way. We don’t want to hide ourselves. LFC was always a club that set standards. I feel good trying to help others.
“The presentation was about tactical periodisation, how to create a specific style of play, a game model or a better identity, taking into consideration the characteristics of your individuals and the type of league you are competing in.”
With the 2016-17 season done, and a fourth-place finish in the Premier League secured by the Reds, the coach returned to the Netherlands upon the conclusion of the conference.
Lijnders will now enjoy downtime with his family – partner Danielle and their two children – and the chance to be back in his home country, which he left a decade ago.
However, with trademark enthusiasm, he is already allowing himself to think about pre-season, the next campaign and the prospect of Liverpool improving again.
“To be honest, I can’t wait to start our pre-season,” Lijnders added.
“I’m not sure about many things in this world, but I’m sure we will be stronger again, and that’s the only thing we can control, to be better prepared and that we learn, adapt and reshape without losing our DNA.”
With the energy and wisdom of Lijnders, who’ll complete his Pro Licence course this September, in the ranks few would bet against Liverpool fulfilling his prediction.