Cork's Caoimhin Kelleher to start for Liverpool against Norwich, while Adam Idah is also hoping for some game time in the same Carabao Cup tie

Klopp has repeatedly praised Kelleher in the past and did not send him out on loan this season. 
Cork's Caoimhin Kelleher to start for Liverpool against Norwich, while Adam Idah is also hoping for some game time in the same Carabao Cup tie

Ireland goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the warm-up

LIVERPOOL have confirmed that Cork goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher will start tonight against Norwich in the the Carabao Cup at Carrow Road

Kelleher has become the forgotten son of the Irish goalkeepers union.

Gavin Bazunu's success for the Irish senior team has pushed Kelleher's success for Liverpool and the Ireland under-21 team aside. 

Stephen Kenny started Kelleher ahead of Bazunu for the under-21 team. 

He was eagerly anticipating the player's debut this year, calling him brilliant and has hinted he could still start Ireland's next game despite Bazunu's success.

That is the quality of young keepers Ireland currently boast.

Jurgen Klopp is also a fan.

Klopp has repeatedly praised Kelleher in the past and did not send him out on loan this season. 

He impressed in Alisson's place last year, so much so that he is now the unquestioned number two ahead of Adrian.

The league cup isn't new territory for the Cork man. He saved a penalty after conceding five goals against Arsenal in 2019. 

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp greets Liverpool's Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher (L) after the UEFA Champions League Group D football match FC Midtjylland v Liverpool FC in Herning, Denmark
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp greets Liverpool's Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher (L) after the UEFA Champions League Group D football match FC Midtjylland v Liverpool FC in Herning, Denmark

He has matured somewhat since that game and proven his quality against a better standard of opposition.

Playing away to Norwich in front of a crowd is the perfect precursor to him potentially making his Ireland debut later this year.

Another Ireland attacker who could get some much-needed game time tonight is Adam Idah. 

The Norwich striker was outstanding for Kenny's Ireland but has barely featured for Norwich in the Premier League this season. 

Norwich may see this game as winnable because Liverpool are resting players, so they may stick with their regular starters.

Liverpool's assistant manager Pep Lijnders insists the Carabao Cup has been "gold" for the club despite them not winning it for almost a decade.

The Reds may not have lifted the League Cup in its various formats since 2012 but Lijnders said there are other ways to gauge success and one of those is the opportunities it gives to expose their academy players.

One of those graduates, the 20-year-old Curtis Jones, has already been told he will make his 50th Liverpool appearance against Norwich in the third-round tie at Carrow Road.

But another just starting out on his journey to the first team is 16-year-old Kaide Gordon, signed from Derby in February, who also looks set to be involved after being withdrawn from the under-23s squad beaten by Leeds on Sunday.

"First of all, this League Cup competition has proven gold for us," said Lijnders.

"I want to give one (name) who is going to start tomorrow and that is Curtis Jones. Why do I want to say his name? Because he will play his 50th game.

"It all started with these kind of games. There are so many diamonds, so many special players, who just can't wait to make these steps so it is important we keep doing this.

"With one we push, we inspire the entire academy so we have to keep the logic of the inside pathway."

Gordon, a winger, has similar potential and Lijnders admits he could not wait to tell manager Jurgen Klopp after watching the youngster in training this summer.

"Before pre-season we always make sure our biggest talents start a week earlier than we start. They start with the under-U23s so I went to the training ground, watching and I saw one player and he has fire in each moment that he touches the ball.

"He passes players like they are not standing there. I called Jurgen immediately and was like, 'Wow! We have a new player here'."

Adam Idah of Republic of Ireland in action against Milo Veljkovic of Serbia during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Republic of Ireland and Serbia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Adam Idah of Republic of Ireland in action against Milo Veljkovic of Serbia during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Republic of Ireland and Serbia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Liverpool always take a number of youth-team players to the first team's training camp and Gordon was one of those this year.

And the decision by Klopp and Lijnders was rubber-stamped by the established players.

"When do you know you have a good player around you? It is when the senior players start taking care of this young player," Lijnders added.

"So when you see James Milner speaking with Kaide, when you see Trent (Alexander-Arnold) becoming like a proper mentor to him, when you see that they invite him to sit at the table.

"All our boys invited him in the group and that made it, not easier, but it made it good for him to adapt to our team and our style."

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more