Liverpool F.C.: finding young players


August 26, 1918
At a certain island one can see fishermen waiting an hour or so for a catch, while young rascals near by continually do hang out their primitive lines and rake in the tiddlers. Some people have a faculty for picking up things, and Liverpool F.C., in the football sense, have formed the habit of picking up good young footballers. Little fish are sweetest, and nowadays the young footballers is a personage from whom one expects happiest results.

Wherefore Liverpool’s policy is sound and profitable. When they played their first practice game on Saturday they had a surprisingly big crowd, although the weather was all against football, and spectators sat upon the ground-surround. Why this early interest?

Simply that the game has a hold on the city, and people are yearning for a ball game, also Liverpool’s policy draws the supporter to see what sort of newcomers have been brought into the fold. There were some good youngsters on view. Phillips, a winger of youth, soon made his mark by determination against a back of the renown of Ephraim Longworth. He will never be too old to learn, and if he keeps the present size of headgear Phillips should go far in football.

Hale, a fellow-well-met by Walter Wadsworth, contrived to make some dashing runs and shots, and promised a lot. Ben Cross and Tommy Green we have seen before and know full well. Robertson, captain of the Stripes side, gathers strength, and Roberts is of the dour kind of half-back that Liverpool has oft specialised in.

The backs stood up well to their work, and whereas Bickerstaff had little to do, Connell had much, and did it in a manner that recalled Elisha Scott. In fact, there was many a case of recall. Robertson recalled Harrop and Brittleton. Birchall recalled Robert  Robinson’s early days with us, Hale has a Buchan appearance and height, and on the winning side.

The League team won 4-0, but took a long time to get their opening goal. MacKinlay, Schofield, and Lewis formed a trip that bore resemblance to Buchan, Mordue, and Frank Cuggy. Their trio tricks delighted the crowd, which has ever taken pleasure in unstereotyped football. Much of the joy of watching Liverpool has been due to this left-flank, which has but one danger; it must not become obsessed with itself, and must remember that a centre forward and right wing are seeking employment, and could make use of a pass that would turn play clear from the left wing. H. Wadsworth on the right wing, fared moderately, but will do better anon. All the other members of the winning side showed that the simmer has not taken them from the form they showed last season. Lewis and Bennett scored two apiece.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: August 26, 1918; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited

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