FeatureMeet the Academy: Get to know the 'fearless' Trent Kone-Doherty

Trent Kone-Doherty of Liverpool FC
By Glenn Price


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Should Trent Kone-Doherty become a regular figure around the Liverpool senior squad, he may need a nickname.

A minor but amusing problem arose when the 17-year-old unexpectedly received a call-up to train with Jürgen Klopp's side for the first time.

With two Trents involved, Kone-Doherty and vice-captain Alexander-Arnold, there was naturally the odd moment of mix-up during the session at the AXA Training Centre.

"They were calling me Trent but a few of the players were laughing because we kept getting mixed up," Kone-Doherty chuckles during this conversation with Liverpoolfc.com.

"Everyone was really welcoming. A few of the players were asking me what age I was and stuff and they were kind of joking about it. But everyone was really welcoming.

"I was actually doing the warm-up with the U18s and then I got told I had to go up to the first team to train. I was walking [up] kind of fast, just smiling. I was really happy and thankful. Because it came so fast, I didn't have too much time to think.

"I went up and it was a really good experience. I really enjoyed it and I'm just thankful for the opportunity."

That experience with the seniors is the latest highlight in Kone-Doherty's exciting start to his Liverpool career.

Having arrived from Derry City last July, the sacrifice of leaving family and friends back home has been a price worth paying so far.

"It was something I knew that was going to happen," the Republic of Ireland youth international explains. "My dad said to me, 'If you want to be a footballer, you have to make sacrifices.' I knew it was a good sacrifice but I'm happy I did it.

"I've really enjoyed it and I think it's been a good first year. At the start it was quite tough, obviously, leaving my friends and family. But I think now I'm used to it and I like the change.

"Obviously Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in Europe, so it's still amazing to pull on the shirt."

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Kone-Doherty brought his pace, directness and production to Liverpool's Academy sides last term.

Playing with and against older players, he delivered 11 goals – three of which were in the UEFA Youth League – and numerous sublime displays, before injury curtailed his debut campaign.

Fearlessness, brought about by his football upbringing, is an obvious aspect of his game.

"I grew up in a place in Derry called Shantallow," he says. "Down the street from Shantallow, where my mum still lives, there was a grass pitch and every day loads of kids [were] in the cage just playing loads of football.

"I was mostly the youngest kid there because I just wanted to play, whereas most of the guys who did actually play were a bit older than me. They used to throw me in and let me play.

"I feel like I play my best game when I play fearless, to be honest. I try to just back myself no matter who I'm playing against. I think my dad kind of drilled it into me when I was younger.

"Any time I got the ball when I was young, I used to just try to dribble [past] people. It's something that's just kind of stuck with me and I think I play my best when I'm playing fearless."

It's no surprise then that two players Kone-Doherty greatly admires and attempts to imitate are Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz.

In addition to their outstanding skill and speed, both of those players also have the ability to play multiple positions.

When asked about what he considers to be his best role, Kone-Doherty responds: "I find it tricky to answer right now. I really like playing off the left but I also like playing off the right. But if I had to pick, I'd probably pick the left.

"I think it's good that I like both wings. I think it's good just to be able to play anywhere in the front line. It's good [to be] versatile."

Kone-Doherty's second season on Merseyside has already got off to a flying start, netting on his Premier League 2 debut with the U21s away at Derby County.

He's not one to look too far ahead in the future but does, of course, hold the goal of representing Liverpool at senior level later down the line.

He finishes: "I don't really try to set too many goals. I try to just play every game to my best and see where that takes me.

"If we're talking long term, I would obviously love to play for Liverpool. That would be my dream."



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.