LIVERPOOL boss Brendan Rodgers and his entire first team squad paid a special visit to the Academy to help inspire the next generation.

The Reds stars took part in various activities with every age group from under-8s to under-16s, while Rodgers did a Q&A session with the under-18s and under-21s.

“As we’re not based on the same site, we never get the chance to see the young players on a day-to-day basis, but it’s very important they feel part of the club,” Rodgers said. “The youth is the heart and soul of the football club and it’s great for the senior players to come down here and mix in. It’ll give everyone a boost.

“They’ll never forget someone as iconic as Steven Gerrard saying something to them. If they can take that through into their career, in 10 years’ time Liverpool might have a player that goes back to what he said to them.

“Over the last nine months I’ve played a number of young players from the Academy. There is a huge amount of promise here, in the staff and players, and I want to ensure that we are working together as a team and that we are supporting the Academy as much as they support us.

“The key message is that it’s important you do your best. It’s important for the under-18s and under-21s to realise you’re not a Liverpool player until you’ve played in the first team.

“Whilst you’re a youth and reserve team player, you have to keep fighting to become a first team player – and only then will you have arrived at Liverpool.”

Jamie Carragher, who took part in an under-12s game, added: “I was very impressed with the young players. They were so hungry to learn and soak up everything we were showing and telling them.

“I joined the Academy when I was just nine years old and I can see myself in a lot of them. That same passion for the badge that doesn’t ever go away.”