Monday, June 3 – 1968
Never have I known Liverpool manager Bill Shankly, more optimistic than he is just now, over the crop of schoolboys he has made during the last few weeks. “It is certainly the biggest influx since I came here – and it could easily be the best,” he said.
Mr. Shankly said Liverpool had never mounted a more strenuous campaign and the results had exceeded all expectations.
Line and a half.
“They include defenders, links and a forward line and a half, with four of them strikers. One of the lads is 16. The rest are 15.
“When you think that these lads are in addition to the youngsters on our books last season, who won all four competitions in which they took part, one without losing a match it is not surprising that I should claim the years ahead are full of excitement for Liverpool.
“Amongst them are Liverpool boys Eddie Flood and Hugh McAuley, with others from Wales, the North East and Scotland. I am not giving details at the moment, but they will be with us for the start of the season.
“They seem to me to be the most spectacular lot of schoolboys I have seen since I had Denis Law, Ray Wilson, Kevin McHale, and Michael O’Grady, all in a bunch at Huddersfield and that really was a five star bunch.
“If we can land one or two experienced men, that we are looking for to mark time, we can look forward to the future with no fears at all from anybody.
“All the positions are covered and with a bit of patience the future well-being of Liverpool could scarcely be brighter.
“It is often said that if you get one really good player out of a crop of ten schoolboys you are doing well.
Scouts at you.
“I feel that half of these lads will be great and more than half of them will make the grade. They have what it takes – skill, spirit and liveliness. There is something about them that shouts at you.
“If I have painted a glowing picture that is what I meant to do, for some of them could be breaking through in less than two to three years and a lot of them will come through together.
“Just a team of kids maybe, but what kids.
“They look like having the speed and size. They already have the spirit. They kick the ball like professionals and are full of the youthful cockiness that all good youngsters need.
“A close season’s break is always welcome – but I can’t get back to work on these lads quickly enough.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool stand poised to go for the experienced men to whom Mr. Shankly refers – at the first indication of availability.
(Liverpool Echo, 03-06-1968)