How Liverpool FC helped out Michael Maguire and his New Zealand squad
Ex-Wigan coach Michael Maguire is hoping some of Liverpool FC's stardust rubs off on his New Zealand players this weekend.
Maguire and the Kiwi squad trained at the Reds’ Melwood training facility in preparation for the Test against Anfield at Anfield on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s outfit reached the Champions League Final last season and are currently second in the Premier League.
Maguire, who coached Wigan for two years from 2010, said: “I’d just like to say thank you to all the staff and Jurgen, to allow us to train here is a pretty special for us all.
“We watch from afar, Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“They said we’re one of the only teams allowed to train here, we appreciate being allowed to be in this space, it’s very special.”
Maguire and Klopp exchanged ideas and shirts before the Reds watched on as the tourists performed the Haka in the canteen.
The video was later posted on social media by both Liverpool and Alberto Moreno, attracting hundreds of thousands of views.
“It was great,” Klopp said. “They are a bunch of real sports guys, I think it’s the third time now that we’ve had the opportunity to host them.
“It’s really cool. They had a good session, I hope. They are always welcome. We’re a very open-minded club, we’re open to learn from different sports.
“I’m interested in it actually. Obviously the sport is quite different but it’s still interesting to talk and have a chat. I enjoyed it a lot.”
New Zealand utility player Gerard Beale, who was also among the 2015 and 2016 tourists that visited Melwood, said: “Each time it’s special.
“It’s a privilege to be able to come into Liverpool’s home and share their facilities. To mix and mingle and rub shoulders with some of the players was really special.
“They are as famous as, with people like Mo Salah but the biggest thing was seeing how genuine and approachable they are.
“It’s cool that we could share the Haka with them and we put in a good session so morale is definitely up there.”