An Academy product Liverpool can be proud of, Conor Coady learnt his trade on Merseyside and is now enjoying the fruits of his labour at Wolves.
The defender’s determination to fly the nest and experience first-team football has proved indispensable and he’s now captaining Wolves in the Premier League. Last season, he faced the club which taught him so thoroughly three times, and now he discusses what his career brought prior to his Wolves move in 2015.
AN ANFIELD PRODUCT
Liverpool | 2005-2014
They’re great memories, not just as a footballer but as a person growing up – it sounds daft, but to come away from Liverpool to play the first-team football I needed. It’s a fantastic place, a huge football club and they helped me a lot. I’m grateful for coming through there. I was lucky enough to train with Carragher and Gerrard, and watch what they did on a daily basis – they never missed a session. I’d look how Carragher played, how he spoke and he was big to follow. They’d say when you could improve which was big, not just for me but for the likes of Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling coming through at the time. We had a fantastic youth team but not many broke through which shows how hard it was.
Anzhi Makhachkala 1 Liverpool 0 | 8th November 2012
It’s quite a blur. I’m very proud because I’d been at Liverpool since six or seven, and when you’re there you just want to make your debut, it’s as simple as that. I was one of the lucky ones and nobody can take it away from me. I remember it being freezing in Moscow and on their team sheet they had Samuel Eto’o, Chris Samba and Yuri Zhirkov, so it was a good game for us. It was tough and I don’t think I played that well, but it was so big for me.
A TASTE OF FIRST-TEAM FOOTBALL
Sheffield United | 2013/14
It was needed and Sheffield United was a great club to go to. I played 50-odd games at the time and I was under a good manager in Nigel Clough, who helped me improve as a footballer and a man. Going into first-team football was big, especially into League One, when Wolves were there too, and it was tough. We got to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and lost to Hull 5-3, but the cup run was huge for us. In my first full season, it was unbelievable to go and play at Wembley.
THAT SCORING FEELING
Leyton Orient 1 Sheffield United 1 | 30th November 2013
I was playing right wing! I scored six or seven that season. Leyton Orient were doing well in the league, so we went there to shore it up, keep it tight and not concede. I ended up getting one on the counter attack and it was special. Chris Porter passed it across to me and I panicked a bit, with the goalkeeper coming out, but I passed it into the corner – it was a striker’s finish. To score a goal at any point in your career is good, one of the best feelings in football and the lads will tell you I don’t get many.
THE BIG JUMP
Huddersfield Town | 2014/15
I went back to Liverpool and it was going to be tough, I had the likes of Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson in front of me. I realised where I was and how hard it was going to be to play for Liverpool, but I didn’t want to go back to under-23 football. Brendan Rodgers was really good, he and Liverpool helped me pick a club which would improve me. Huddersfield were brilliant for me, they’re filled with great people and since I left they’ve gone on to do fantastic. To go there for a year, before Wolves, was great for me and was a huge help.