Northern Ireland Under-21 star Liam Hughes has described his dream of playing first-team football for Liverpool in the future and hailed the support of senior international goalkeeping coach Roy Carroll.
After joining Liverpool a year ago, Hughes (20) was loaned out to Stalybridge Celtic earlier this month for the rest of the season telling the Belfast Telegraph he had decided to play first-team football and gain vital experience.
Continuing to train with the Merseyside giants, he has already impressed at Stalybridge by saving a penalty on his debut to earn them an important 1-0 Northern Premier League victory.
It has been a turbulent 12 months for Hughes, a County Armagh native, who was on the bench for Liverpool in a Premier League win at Sheffield United last season and was part of the Ireland senior squad. Nord last year after playing in the Irish League for Portadown aged just 15, joined Dungannon Swifts and then transferred to Celtic aged 16!
In September, teenager Conor Bradley became the first Northern Ireland player to feature in a competitive first-team game for Liverpool since Sammy Smyth in 1954. Lifelong Reds fan Hughes would like to add his name to the list .
“Going to Stalybridge Celtic I want to get as many senior games as possible because that first team experience can help me carry on,” Hughes said.
“I always train with Liverpool during the week so Liverpool can keep an eye on me, what they want and I can play senior games.
“The dream is to stay at Liverpool and of course play for the first team one day, so we’ll see how things go.”
Part of Ian Baraclough’s international panel in 2021 but yet to win a senior cap, Hughes added: “I’ve learned a lot being part of the senior team and goalkeeping coach Roy Carroll is terrific.
“I called him recently and he is someone who wants the best for you.
“It’s good to have this support and I’m determined to do everything I can to develop and improve.”