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Gary McAllister
"They don't have too many elder statesmen, I'll help in that sense"
 real 28k

Thursday, 25 May, 2000, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
McAllister confirms Reds move
McAllister
Gary McAllister is set to join Liverpool on 1 July
Liverpool have agreed the signing of former Scotland skipper Gary McAllister.

The veteran midfielder completed a medical at Anfield on Thursday and has decided to link up with Gerald Houllier's side by signing on 1 July.

McAllister had been at Coventry since 1996 but had a number of options when his contract expired at the end of the past season.

The former Scotland skipper had a number of options when his contract expired at the end of season but he admitted that he couldn't resist the chance to play for a club the size of Liverpool.


Gary McAllister
Gary McAllister: Helping the youngsters
"This is fairy tale stuff for someone at my stage of life," said McAllister.

"It did surprise me when Liverpool came in for me, but I have talked through the specific role that Gerard Houllier wants me to have, and I am more than happy with it."

Lives

He will be given the responsibility of looking after Liverpool's string of brilliant youngsters as they approach the toughest season of their lives.

And the midfielder will have the special task of guiding teenager Gerrard through a campaign where the Liverpool-born youngster will take on a key role for club and country.

McAllister said: "It won't just be Gerrard, but all the youngsters. Liverpool have got three cup competitions next season plus a tough Premiership campaign.

"They are in the UEFA Cup and there will be a lot more games for them to handle. The average age of their side last season was under 25, and that's very young indeed for a top-flight club.

"The manager explained that there was a need for some experience around the squad, an old head in the side.

"It's a tremendous challenge for me, and something that I really didn't expect at this stage of my career. But I intend to grasp it and enjoy it, in fact I wish the season could start straight away.

Help

"If I can offer anything to help the younger players and their development, that's fine by me."

Houllier clearly sees McAllister as a quality, experienced, player who will give his side not only strength in depth but whose experience can help Liverpool to that illusive Premiership crown.

The Scot added: "I've just had my best ever scoring tally in the Premiership with 13 last season, and I'm feeling as fit as ever.

"It's too early to say just how many games I will play, maybe people will be surprised, but I aim to take this chance to pass onto the youngsters at Liverpool the experience I have gained.

"Realistically I do not have much longer left at this level, and I can't see me signing many contracts after this one.

"So it makes me more aware that this is a great chance for me now, and I can't wait to get going. There are so many great young players at Liverpool."

Gary McAllister factfile

1964: Born December 25, Motherwell.
1981: Joined Motherwell
1985: Moved to Leicester City for 125,000
1987: Hit 10 league goals but Leicester relegated to Division Two.
1990: Wins first Scotland cap. Moves to Leeds for 1m in July.
1992: Helped Leeds to the First Division Championship.
1996: Leeds lost 3-0 to Aston Villa in Coca-Cola Cup final in March. 1996: Transferred to Coventry for 3m
1999: Quits international football
2000: Reaches the end of his contract with Coventry and opts to sign for Liverpool on a free transfer on July 1.

Honours

Motherwell: Scottish First Division Championship 1985
Leeds: First Division Championship 1992; FA Charity Shield winner 1992; League Cup runner-up 1996
57 caps for Scotland.

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