Liverpool U19s brought to an end their academy season for 2016-17 after they finished sixth in the 10 team Volksbank Cup in Stemwede, Germany.
After missing out on a place in the semi-finals, Neil Critchley’s side lost 3-2 to Werder Bremen in the play-off for fifth place.
Critchley’s side won this tournament on their last visit in 2015, but despite playing some exciting football at times, couldn’t repeat that success this time around.
Reflecting on the overall experience for the U19 squad, Critchley insists valuable lessons have been learned.
“It was fantastic to be invited back to Stemwede but unfortunately on the pitch it didn’t quite go as well as we hoped, but still it was a positive experience for the boys,” Critchley told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It was actually very similar to a lot of our U18 performances towards the end of the season where our performances were generally good but we failed in the final third of the field.
“We didn’t score enough goals and if we had done that I feel we would have gone on to progress to the semi-finals and then who knows, but it wasn’t to be.
“After our group games we had a must-win clash with SV Rodinghausen FC in our final group game. We drew 0-0 and missed a number of chances in that game. It was really frustrating because we should have won that game.
“We actually only conceded one goal in our four group games but we only scored in one of those games and that tells its own story, but the boys will learn from that.”
Critchley also explained the reason behind why tournament participation on a regular basis is so important for the development of young players
“Overall, these tournaments are invaluable for our young players,” he added.
“To come and play against different opposition from around the world, experience different styles of play and also come up against different conditions is different to what we are used to.
“Coming away from their comfort zone and representing Liverpool FC in tournaments is part of their education and development, on and off the pitch.
“Apart from the slight frustration of not doing enough in the games that we played we have had a thoroughly enjoyable season and we can’t wait for it all to start again next season now.”