Matos appointed Elite Development Coach by Liverpool
Written by Simon Austin — October 1, 2019
LIVERPOOL have appointed Porto’s Vitor Matos as Elite Development Coach.
The 31-year-old takes up the position previously held by Pepijn Lijnders, who left Liverpool for NEC Nijmegen in January 2018 and returned six months later as assistant manager.
The role, which involved managing the transition from Academy to first team and assisting Klopp with the team's style of play, has been vacant since Lijnders left. The role of development coach is becoming more and more common at the elite level, with clubs realising they need to spend extra time working with their best youth players as they make the step up to senior level.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “It makes real sense, because we have so many outstanding young boys. The situation is a little bit like this: if you are in pre-season, they are with us and we need them for training, for the games and all that stuff.
"But then the season starts and all the big guns come back and we don’t want to give them the feeling they are now a bit further away again. So we thought it made sense that they really get their specific coach again what Pep did years ago when I came in.
"I loved the fact I got a sensational assistant manager, but we lost the development coach a little bit. We had to fill that void and we’ve done that with a really great guy, an outstanding coach. Young and experienced, you don’t get that a lot. A kind of guy who is used to having six or seven sessions a day."
Lijnders also joined Liverpool from Porto - in 2014 - and was promoted to the Elite Development role a year later.
Klopp added: “He (Matos) is smart, his English is very good – which is obviously important – and he has worked at different clubs, but is educated at Porto, which is good for us because Pep is from there as well.
“He had made his own experience already and now we can all get the benefit of that. It will be great for the boys 100%.”
Matos, who holds the Uefa Elite Youth A Licence, has been assistant coach Porto’s B Team, who play in the second tier in Portugal, since July 2018. Prior to that he spent two years in China as youth technical co-ordinator and U16 coach for Shandong Luneng.