JORDAN LUSSEY isn’t short of inspiration as he battles to make the grade at Liverpool.
The 18-year-old from Aughton near Ormskirk is one of the brightest talents coming through at the club’s Kirkby Academy.
A dynamic central midfielder with an impressive range of passing and known for his thunderous long-range strikes, there are no prizes for guessing whose footsteps he dreams of following in.
“I’ve looked up to Steven Gerrard ever since I was a little kid,” said Liverpool’s Under-18s skipper.
“I used to run about the playground pretending to be Steven. With him being a local lad as well, he’s an absolute idol and someone I model my game around.
“You look at what he’s achieved in his career. For me the standout memory is that injury-time strike in the 2006 FA Cup final with that chest and volley against West Ham. Seeing that goal he scored against Manchester City recently, I get shivers every time I watch it. He’s the complete midfielder and a big role model for me.”
Lussey has rubbed shoulders with his hero on a number of occasions this season after being invited by Brendan Rodgers to train with the first team.
It served to whet his appetite for the challenge ahead as the England youth international looks to make the sizeable leap from Kirkby to Melwood.
“It’s been great experience to be in Steven’s presence,” he said. “I’ve trained at Melwood a few times and learned a lot. They all made me feel welcome and I just played my normal game.
“I came back to the Academy full of confidence. It inspires you that bit more to get to Melwood permanently one day.
“We all look up to Jamie Carragher and Steven. I’ve read their books and they were in our position once. If we work hard that could be us one day. The fans want local players coming through but I don’t feel any extra pressure because of that. It spurs me on.”