Season preview 1910-11: Liverpool F.C. (Cricket and Football Field)

August 6, 1910
When writing of Liverpool’s 1909-10 prospects, 12 months ago, I said “Liverpool’s present policy, position, and – shall I add? – prospects very closely approximate to those which stood opposite the name of their Everton neighbours and rivals, a short year ago.” For, at the time referred to, Everton had just escaped degradation, and had subsequently tried what an infusion of new and younger blood would do.

The result was that the Toffee finished runners’ up to Newcastle for the League championship, in April of last year. At that same time Liverpool had almost suffered relegation, and, last summer, they, too, tried an exchange of young players of promise in the place of long service men like Cox, Raisbeck, Parry, etc.

I will not further proclaim my prophetic powers here, other than by referring readers to my opening quotation from last season’s prospects, and then pointing to the fact that Liverpool in 1909-10 did so as Everton had done in 1908-09, namely succeed with their young team in gaining second place in the League table.

Not only were the directors justified in their bold policy, but the players provided rare sport to the public, and the public for their part appreciated Liverpool’s team of triers so fully that the club reaped a record financial harvest, and what some of the men lacked in skill they compensated for in strenuous endeavour.

For the coming season, all concerned are full of goodly expectancy, and the players on Wednesday set the preparation ball rolling in the shape some good sharp walks into the country. There is no reason to think that Liverpool will go back at all on last season’s form, but rather every reason to believe that they will make formidable rivals to the best in their class for the game’s highest honours.

The Anfield Roll Call.
Herewith let me set out in tabular form the men who are on the Anfield pay sheet.

Goalkeeper Heigh Weight
Sam Hardy 5 ‘ 9 12 ‘ 0
Gus Beeby 5 ‘ 10 11 ‘ 10
Peter Malone 5 ‘ 9 1/2 11 ‘ 7
Tom Chorlton 5 ‘ 8 1/2 12 ‘ 6
Robert Crawford 5 ‘ 8 10 ‘ 7
Tom Rogers 5 ‘ 9 1/2 11 ‘ 9
Billy Dunlop 5 ‘ 9 1/2 12 ‘ 8
Alf West 5 ‘ 8 11 ‘ 10
Ephraim Longworth 5 ‘ 8 1/2 11 ‘ 4
Donald Mackinlay 5 ‘ 8 11 ‘ 5
Robert Robinson 5 ‘ 9 1/2 12 ‘ 7
Jim Harrop 5 ‘ 9 1/2 11 ‘ 2
John McConnell 5 ‘ 8 10 ‘ 7
James Bradley 5 ‘ 9 1/2 12 ‘ 2
Ernest Peake 5 ‘ 8 11 ‘ 7
Barney Dillon 5 ‘ 11 11 ‘ 6
Sam Hignett 5 ‘ 7 10 ‘ 7
Arthur Goddard 5 ‘ 10 11 ‘ 7
James Stewart 5 ‘ 6 10 ‘ 7
Jack Parkinson 5 ‘ 8 1/2 12 ‘ 0
Ronald Orr 5 ‘ 6 1/2 11 ‘ 7
John Macdonald 5 ‘ 8 1/2 11 ‘ 7
Sam Bowyer 5 ‘ 7 1/2 10 ‘ 7
Harold Uren 5 ‘ 9 1/2 12 ‘ 0
James Speakman 5 ‘ 8 1/2 10 ‘ 12
Sam Gilligan 5 ‘ 9 1/2 11 ‘ 2
Herbert Leavey 5 ‘ 9 11 ‘ 0
Joe Brough 5 ‘ 7 11 ‘ 2

Of last season’s players not retained, mention may be made of Joe Hewitt, who has joined Bolton Wanderers to the accompaniment of best wishes from his Liverpool friends. Bertram Goode, a smart, but too little inside right, has gone to Wrexham. John Dunlop, has not been retained, nor have the two backs Wallis Dimmock and Thomas Riley, who were probationers for a spell in the late term.

No new half-backs signed.
The whole of last season’s signed half-backs have been kept on, and not a new face appears on the “morrow’s” horizon – surely a double-edged happening, minus precedent. Of last year’s forwards Herbert Macpherson, Robert Lawson, and William Morris have departed; indeed, Lawson, who is an ex-Army man, has shouldered his shooting boots and migrated to Calgary, or some such spot in far-off Canada.

But concerning those who remain behind. Unlike last year England’s keeper par excellence Sam Hardy, was among the earliest to re-book for current service. Not only so, but the sagacious, lynx-eyed Chesterfield-wonder is already on the spot at Anfield eager for the fray, and doing his training walks as though sprinting up he field instead of hurling himself across the goal were his forte.

Beeby, who resembles Hardy much, is sure to do well with the experience of League football gained last season, whilst for a third string Liverpool have once again Peter Malone, the Bootle and Marine youth who shaped so well for the third and second elevens last autumn and later in the tourney.

The back divisions caused a good deal of anxiety during the major part of 1909-10, for Chorlton, an ever-present, scarcely received adequate support from either Crawford or Rogers until March was reached when young Crawford came out in brilliant colours for such a light weight.

Additional defensive strength should now be forthcoming, however, for that once-popular Anfield back, Alf West, has returned to the club after a very successful, though obviously trying season with Reading in the Southern League. Another goodly Southern recruit is E. Longworth, of Leyton, and once of Bolton Wanderers.

Longworth, who is 22 years of age, has been highly commended for his full back play by Southern critics, and that he possesses a good turn of speed was shown in the footballers’ race at Anfield on Tuesday, when he landed a second prize.

A recruit from Scotland.
Then there is D. Mackinlay, a young Scottish left back, who made a fair sort of League debut v. Nottingham Forest last April. He lacks experience as yet, but he has already many good points. Mackinlay’’ Scottish club was Newton Villa, a Lanarkshire junior organisation, I understand.

The half-backs need no introduction from me. They have all been tried and found guilty of being in awful possession of most of the things which go to make up good robbers. Robinson had his greatest season in 1908-9, and is assured of the right half position.

I saw Harrop looking in grand condition on Wednesday, and they tell me he has actually grown a trifle taller since last April. May he continue so to do – in popularity, McConnell struck many as an industrious sort of half-back when he gained a League team position last Spring, and this is fully confirmed by the news that the flaxen-headed Airdrieonians has been busy working at his trade up in Scotland throughout the close season.

“I might just, as well be doing that,” said he, “as anything else.” Mac, methinks will have more imitators in this direction by and bye. Reverting for a moment to the full-back department I had almost forgotten, in my excitement, to mention that that, young colt, W. Dunlop (thus he describes himself) has been again signed to do a bit of kicking.

Dunlop is Liverpool’s champion long service man just as is Taylor Everton’s, and in this connection. Dunlop has pointed out an interesting coincidence which most people have overlooked. “The remarkable thing,” he said “about Taylor’s and my own record is that both came south from the same town – Paisley; Taylor came from Paisley St Mirren and I from Paisley Abercorn.”

More coincidences.
It is further interesting to note that whereas John Taylor joined Everton in 1895-9 season, Billy Dunlop actually entered the Anfield camp in 1894-5. Truly both the Scotsmen named have reason to be proud of their respective records. Taylor, however, was an internationalist already when he joined Everton, whereas Dunlop had to wait other dozen years for his first such distinction.

Then with regard to the coincidences referred to I have another to add: both men are carrying on a successful business locally – and of the same kind! But this is retrospecting rather than prospecting. We were talking of the Liverpool halves, were we not?

Bradley and Peake are both first-class men of the past and the present school respectively, whilst Hignett and Dillon is each useful in his class. But seven half-backs for two teams per week will scarcely suffice for the work ahead, although the club should always be able to commandeer our or more of their surplus backs whenever necessary.

Last season the Reds’ attack itself proved one of the most successful, effective and speedy forward lines in the League, for where can you point to a faster quartet than Goddard, Parkinson, Bowyer, and Macdonald with Stewart close up. Only the Villa scored more goals in the late competition, and I feel sure that Liverpool’s van is again going to please.

Parkinson, the League’s premier scorist of 1909-10, Goddard, and Speakman have been busy and successful of late on the running track. Arthur Goddard will again captain the League team, whilst Ronald Orr be his deputy. Those two fine young Scotsmen, Stewart and Macdonald, are once again fit and well, whilst Bowyer and Uren, along with Speakman, will again prove well up to League team standard.

Few first-class local recruits.
The Reds’ second team should fare much better than previously, for only the best of last season’s players have been retained. Points were more than once sacrificed last year through giving some of the third team players trials in Combination matches in the hope that a trump card might be discovered. Alas, the whole search proved futile.

It is an unsolved mystery why the city of Liverpool produces so few first-class recruits, when we try to number the thousands of junior players in the district. Liverpool’s new forwards number three. First there is Sam Gilligan, of Bristol City, and Third Lanark Association.

Gilligan is not a youngster, but he has shown himself a heady player of the Ronald Orr type, and can figure with equal effect in any of the three inside positions.

Herbert Leavey is an outside left or right from Plymouth Argyle, 22 years of age. In build he favours Macdonald.

Much is expected from Leavey, and also from Joe Brough, an inside right who has served Stoke, Tottenham, and Burslem in turn. He is 24 years of age.

Anything more? Oh, yes! The Liverpool practice matches have been fixed for August 18 and 27. The trainers are “as before,” this branch of the business being still in the able hands of Messrs. William Connell, George Fleming and Charlie Wilson.

The playing portion has a velvet pile that can now vie with Gigg Lane. The home League season will open with a visit from Bradford City on September 3rd; there will be no regular combination team captain appointed, but the skipper will rather be chosen from week to week.

The un-roofed stand is busy in the hatter’s hand, and a modern headpiece is being put on as one writes. The secretary, unlike last August, is in the pink of condition, and finally, the players are anxious that the League’s president shall preside over the champions league club of 1910-11.
(Source: Cricket and Football Field: August 6, 1910)

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