EM – “Carabao Cup means everything to us young players” – Caoimhin Kelleher

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Glenn Price

@ GlennPrice94

Caoimhin Kelleher has fond personal memories of the Carabao Cup and wants more this season.

In 2019, the goalkeeper made his Liverpool first-team debut in a third-round tie at MK Dons and followed in the next stage with a victorious save in a penalty shoot-out win over Arsenal.

The Journey of the Reds 2021-22 in competition begins tonight in Norwich City with Deputy Manager Pepijn Lijnders revealing that Kelleher will begin the Carrow Road encounter.

Liverpoolfc.com has met the Irish stopper at the AXA Training Center met to get a preview of the competition – read the full interview on …

Pep Lijnders revealed that you will be starting on Carrow Road. How excited are you about your first gig of the season?

I’m really excited to hopefully get my first competitive start to the season. I think we’re all looking forward to the game. It’s going to be a good challenge and we just hum.

Obviously I played a few games two seasons ago I think and I have some fond memories of games. I also made my debut for Liverpool in that competition. So it was a tournament that I really enjoy playing and I’m looking forward to it again.

The whole team is motivated to get the win. We want to win every trophy we’re involved in, so we’re all looking forward to [the game] and I want to make more memories, play more games.

When you look back, how different you feel as a player from that who made his debut against MK Dons and played Arsenal on penalties? A lot has happened since then …

I think it’s been a great learning experience for me. Obviously, my debut and the first few games, my first game on Anfield with the audience and so on, made those experiences really great for me and I learned from them. After that I played a few more games. I just think it’s a lot of hard work. Obviously I watch these games and every day in training to see where I can get better and keep working. Fortunately, I then had opportunities to show that I have improved and got better. Hopefully I’ll get more opportunities.

How much does this competition mean to young players? Pep Lijnders called it “real gold” for young people …

For young people it is a big competition for us, because we know that we will get opportunities and playing time. It’s all for us if we are involved and we want to win and give 100 percent, when we have the opportunity to show that we are good enough and able to play in more games. We are looking forward. A Carabao Cup third round game is probably not the greatest game of all for the public, but for me it was probably the greatest game of my life and a great moment for me. The competition for us players, and when you get the chance to play, is really exciting.

You train with the squad every day – how impressive is all the depth?

It’s very good. I think a lot of youngsters could be involved or sit on the bench and stuff. It will be a great experience for them. When they come to us to train with us, none of them look out of place – they all look really impressive. The depth of strength that we have throughout the squad is really good. It’s a great opportunity for any gamer to perform well and get into the manager’s head for the next few games. There are a lot of games coming up so changes are being made. We just have to do a good job and keep going.

What will it take for the team on Tuesday night to get to the next round?

I think it’s going to be a tough challenge. We’ve played against them in the Premier League, of course – they showed that they are a really good team and gave us problems. We just have to look at this game and maybe try to learn from it and then hopefully perform well and get through it.

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