Liverpool manager praises Australia's rise

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he’s noticed the progression of Australian football since the Reds last visited the country in 2013.

Back then, the Anfield club met a young Melbourne Victory in front of over 90,000 fans at the MCG.

On an unforgettable night, the Reds eased past Ange Postecoglou’s courageous side 2-0.

Since then Postecoglou has gone on to revitalise the Socceroos in spectacular fashion while Victory under then-assistant coach Kevin Muscat have become A-League champions playing an eye-catching brand of football.

And since the Reds’ last visit, not only have the Socceroos conquered Asia but the Western Sydney Wanderers reached the summit of club football winning the 2014 AFC Asian Champions League.

Rodgers has noticed how the game’s grown and developed at both A-League and national team level. 

“I got a feel for it when I was here a few years ago and it was an incredible evening,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“I also got a sense of the football and obviously spoke to the manager at the time, he’s gone on to be national team manager [for Australia] and the philosophy they’re trying to follow.

“And it’s pretty clear the identity of how the teams are playing. Expansive, attacking football with a lot of teams playing 4-3-3 and getting very talented players and also with the World Cup [in 2014] each season you’re seeing players and teams improving.

“It’s great to see,” he said.

Liverpool trained at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night in front of thousands of adoring fans.

It’s understood Jordan Henderson will captain the Reds on Friday night, new man James Milner will also start, as will Adam Lallana, Divock Origi and Martin Skrtel in what is shaping as a strong starting XI against Aloisi’s Roar. 

Rodgers added he was aware of Brisbane coach John Aloisi coaching in his first game for Roar and said he’d done his homework on the home side ahead of Friday night's clash at a sold-out Suncorp. 

What’s more, Rodgers revealed one of the Roar players was well known to him.

The Liverpool manager coached Brisbane keeper Jamie Young during his time at Reading and described him as “hungry to learn and great to work with”.