Football: Anfield old boys pay it on by coaching Liverpool juniors

Former Liverpool legends Robbie Fowler (left) and Steve McManaman at the EPL Masters Singapore Cup at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Oct 14, 2012. Fowler, McManaman and Rob Jones are now helping manager Brendan Rodgers develop the next generati
Former Liverpool legends Robbie Fowler (left) and Steve McManaman at the EPL Masters Singapore Cup at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Oct 14, 2012. Fowler, McManaman and Rob Jones are now helping manager Brendan Rodgers develop the next generation at Liverpool. -- THE NEW PAPER FILE PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

LONDON (AFP) - Former Anfield stars Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Rob Jones are now helping manager Brendan Rodgers develop the next generation at Liverpool.

The trio are assisting the staff at the Under-21 and Under-18 squads at Liverpool's Kirkby Academy.

"It's great to have Robbie, Steve and Rob on board," Rodgers told Wednesday's Liverpool Echo.

"I wanted to get more former players involved and over the off-season I spoke to a number of them about a possible role here.

"For me it's so important to have players like that around. These are players who the young guys look up to.

"The three of them have come in recently and I know they have thoroughly enjoyed having that involvement of working with the kids.

"We're starting with the older academy players as they are ones they can really affect at this moment.

"It's both coaching and mentoring."

Unlike some managers at famous teams, Northern Irishman Rodgers has no problems in embracing the history of five-time European champions Liverpool or working with the club's former players.

"Sometimes managers feel the need to distance themselves from players like that but I love what this institution is all about at Liverpool," he added.

"It's important to retain that connection with the history of the club.

"I want to protect that great history to ensure these players get the opportunity to be involved at a club they love."