Reds tour revives memories for Roar’s Moore


They first met in the football-mad climes of England’s north-east and now the paths of Liverpool FC’s new signing James Milner and Brisbane Roar’s Socceroos legend Craig Moore are set to cross again.

The pair will reignite an old friendship when the Roar plays the Reds in the opening game of their Australian tour on Friday, 17 July at Suncorp Stadium (6.45pm kick off).

Milner and Moore were both on the playing roster at English Premier League club Newcastle United from 2005 to 2007.

At that time, Milner was a fast-emerging young talent beginning to make his mark as a strong-running winger and fine passer of the ball.

Moore, a renowned tough defender who is now Football Operations Manager at the Roar, had arrived at St James’ Park after more than 100 games with Glasgow Rangers and a short stint in Germany.

Milner made 94 appearances (six goals) in the black and white while Moore, who was dogged by injury at the time, turned out for the club 31 times.

Moore recalls seeing Milner develop on and off the field into a world-class footballer who has now played 54 times for England – coincidentally the same number of times Moore played for Australia (52 A caps and 2 B internationals).

After going on loan to Aston Villa in 2005, Milner then transferred to the Villans in 2008 where he built a reputation as an attacking midfielder.

His efforts for Villa and England caught the eye of Manchester City who splashed out £ £26 million for his signature in 2010.

Milner, 29, struggled to get game time among City’s star-studded squad in recent seasons and moved to Anfield in the (northern) summer on a free transfer.

His signing was seen as a vital part of Reds coach Brendan Rodgers’ rebuilding following the departure to LA Galaxy of Liverpool’s talisman captain Steven Gerrard.

Although Rodgers is yet to announce his touring squad, Moore has his fingers crossed that Milner gets the nod.

“He’s a player that seems like he has been around forever I think because he was such an early starter,” Moore said this week as he recalled their time together on Tyneside.

“From my experience working alongside James at Newcastle he is a great kid and a fantastic professional and I think that’s why he has continued to remain at the very, very top and sustain such a fantastic career.

“His work ethic and professionalism is a great example for all young football players.”

Despite an indifferent four years at Manchester City, Moore has no doubts Milner will be a hit at Anfield.

“Players of that calibre . . . they just fit in that’s what they just do,” said Moore, a former Roar captain who has returned to the club this season in a support role for new Head Coach John Aloisi.

“James Milner will fit in to Brendan Rodgers plans at Liverpool and he will be a huge success there.”

In news out of Anfield overnight, Liverpool FC and New Balance will reveal the team’s new away kit for 2015/16 at a special event in Brisbane’s King George Square on Thursday, 16 July.

Reds fans around the world will get a first glimpse of the strip and can then immediately purchase the shirt, shorts and socks through the club’s online store.

A LFC Fan Zone will be set up in King George Square with the event to begin at 5pm with a live Q&A and signing session involving Liverpool legends Ian Rush and Dietmar Hamann, the club announced on its website.

Three first-team players will then join proceedings from 6pm to exclusively reveal the away kit they will be wearing in the next EPL season.

For those local football fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the Reds stars but don’t have a match ticket, tickets are still available for the Liverpool FC open training session at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday, 16 July from 7.30pm – which follows the away shirt unveiling.

Tickets cost just $20 (adults) and $10 (children and concessions) with the proceeds to go to charity.  For more information and to book tickets, click here.

The Reds first-team squad along with coaching staff from the club’s charity, the Liverpool FC Foundation are also expected to be involved in community engagement during their Brisbane visit as well as taking part in events with official LFC supporters’ clubs.