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Liverpool FC: The Impact the FA's Olympic Decision Can Have on Liverpool's Youth

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01:  Jonjo Shelvey of England in action during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier Group 8 match between England and Azerbaijan at Vicarage Road on September 1, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIDecember 16, 2011

With a host of new signings during the summer some of Anfield's emergent youth have unfortunately fallen out of the limelight they so spectacularly gained when Kenny Dalglish took over.

The likes of Jon Flanagan and Jack Robinson became bench warmers or reserve players, and Jonjo Shelvey was shipped off on loan to Blackpool. The latter's recent goal blitz came at the perfect time for Liverpool, who became in need of a midfielder to replace the stricken Lucas Leiva.

With Dalglish not looking likely to splash the cash when the transfer market opens in January, there is still an opportunity for the academy players to gain some effective experience as the Kop side chase a top four finish.

And with today's news that the England team being taken to the European Championships is being barred from Olympic duty, there is an added incentive for Liverpool's youth to shine.

Olympic ruling states that the Great Britain side can take 18 players to London 2012, of which 15 must be under the age of 23. Sorry Jay Spearing who theoretically would have to fight with David Beckham for one of the three 23-and-over places!

So Flanagan, Robinson and Shelvey, as well as the likes of Raheem Sterling, Danny Wilson and Dalglish favourite Martin Kelly have an increased chance of representing GB. 

The scope for English youngsters, with the announcement, has been widened, and the worried Premierships managers can breathe a sigh of relief that their star players will not be worn out by two events. 

Each Liverpool youngster has had some form of experience with under-21 England teams and will seek to continue this progression for future European and national tournaments. 

But what a statement they could make if they were to find themselves on a GB squad, consequentially elevating their names onto the world stage. After all, a great performance is all it can sometimes take to make an impression elsewhere. So for those unfortunate enough not to make the England squad for the Euro championships, the Olympics may now provide a welcome alternative. 

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