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Football: Liverpool starlets must step up - Gerrard

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Liverpool's rising stars must begin fulfilling their potential if they want to become a permanent part of the first-team picture at Anfield, club captain Steven Gerrard said on Friday.

Manager Brendan Rodgers blooded a number of academy graduates last season, but Gerrard says players like Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom cannot afford to live off their potential indefinitely.

"You only get described as a young lad for a certain amount of time and then it's time to become a man and perform on a consistent basis," the midfielder said.

"There is great talent at the club at a young age; the manager has been trying to get a young group of players together that can perform well for him.

"It's a big season for a lot of players -- you look at (Raheem) Sterling and (Jordan) Henderson.

"Of course it's a big season for every player we've got, but I think the supporters will be looking for the young lads to step up now, try to push people out of the way and become regulars in the team.

"I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what happens with those young players."

Gerrard praised Rodgers for the eagerness he has shown to incorporate young players in the first-team set-up since arriving from Swansea City a year ago.

"The manager is fantastic with the way he does it. He invites a lot of young players down to train with the team all the time," Gerrard told Liverpool's in-house television channel, LFC TV.

"It's great experience to come down and play with the first team. When they come down permanently, they have sampled it and they know what they're in for.

"I'm excited because if the young lads show the manager that they are good enough, he's certainly shown to everyone that he's not scared of playing them. It's going to be exciting."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130705/football-liverpool-starlets-must-step-gerrard