Brendan Rodgers has continued to show his faith in the Liverpool academy by handing first professional contracts to highly-rated youngsters Lloyd Jones and Daniel Trickett-Smith.
The Liverpool manager has shown a willingness to hand opportunities to young players as last season he handed first team debuts to several academy graduates. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom all featured heavily, while striker Jerome Sinclair became the youngest player to ever represent the club when he made his debut in the League Cup aged just 16 years and 6 days.
The club's Under-21 side performed well in the last campaign as they reached the semi-final stage of the inaugural Premier League competition, while the Under-19s excelled in NextGen action.
Jones and Trickett-Smith both featured in the NextGen side last season and it seems their performances have not gone unnoticed by Rodgers who has decided to hand the duo professional contracts.
Jones, a towering central defender, joined the Reds from Plymouth in 2011 and is regarded as one of the brightest young prospects at the club. He has been tipped to quickly progress through the ranks and may hope to even get a chance in the first team after the retirement of Jamie Carragher left the club short of options in defence.
The 17 year old returned for pre-season training earlier this week and confirmed that he had been awarded a new deal on Twitter.
Great feeling to sign a Professional contract with Liverpool today!
— Lloyd Jones (@lloydjones51) July 3, 2013
Midfielder Trickett-Smith was mainly used as a substitute for the Under-19 side last season but he has impressed since joining from Crewe in the summer of 2012.
An England youth international he plays just behind the striker or in a central midfield role and also revealed on Twitter that he would become a professional with Liverpool.
Great feeling to have sign my professional contract with Liverpool FC today! — DanielTrickett-Smith (@TrickettSmith) July 3, 2013
Both players will now hope to continue their progress and emulate the likes of Wisdom and Sterling who both enjoyed outstanding break through seasons under Rodgers.