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How Conor Bradley got spotted 'by accident' and has his cousin to thank for his Liverpool career

How Conor Bradley got spotted 'by accident' and has his cousin to thank for his Liverpool career

Bradley's big break at Liverpool almost didn't happen.

Conor Bradley is the latest exciting youngster to light up the Premier League, although his big break at Liverpool could easily have not happened.

On Wednesday the 20-year-old scored his first Premier League goal, a superb solo effort in Liverpool's 4-1 win against Chelsea at Anfield.

The right-back put in a superb player-of-the-match performance, just days after he did the same when Jurgen Klopp's side despatched Norwich 5-2 in the FA Cup.

Bradley is in such good form that on Wednesday he forced Klopp to select him over Trent Alexander-Arnold, arguably the best attacking full-back in the Premier League.

Bradley is clearly destined for great things, but it turns out he was pretty lucky to be scouted in the first place.

In an interview with The Athletic, his first football coach Rory Lynch admitted that he didn't want to take a then eight-year-old Bradley to his first tournament.

"He got spotted by accident," Lynch said. "What happened was we were going to an under-11s tournament and four kids came down with a cold and couldn’t come. His cousin who was playing in the team kept saying to me, 'Bring Conor, bring Conor'."

Lynch knew Bradley from coaching mini-soccer classes at St. Patrick’s Football Club in their home village of Castlederg in Northern Ireland. With Bradley three years younger than most of the other players, Lynch was wary of the youngster getting hurt.

Lynch attempted to find other players to fill the team, but in the end he had no option but to take Bradley.

Conor Bradley scored his first Premier League goal on Wednesday (

"His cousin never gave up, so I gave in and said 'Aye, we’ll bring him then'.

"Conor’s house was on the way, so it was just a case of picking him up. He was only very young. We had one sub and that was Conor. Then one lad got injured in the first two minutes of the game.

"The first thing I told him was if you get the ball, pass it. Don’t take people on, don’t go into challenges. I don’t want you getting hurt.

"What’s the first thing he did? Blaze into a challenge. I had never seen anything like this kid. He won player of the tournament and was the top goalscorer. It was amazing.

“He was small but I remember the semi-final game to get us to the final. He scored the winning header from a corner. He was no size at all but just so athletic. I couldn’t believe what I was watching.

"He was different gravy, as we say over here. I have been involved in football for a long time but I had never seen anything like this before. From that moment, we knew we had something special."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, Premier League, Trent Alexander-Arnold