Ex Liverpool youth player admits he deliberately injured teammate to get first team spot

This is a sickening thing to hear from former Liverpool player Tom Brewitt.

Former Liverpool youth team player Tom Brewitt has said that he once injured a team-mate on purpose in a bid to win a first-team place.

During the 2015-16 season, several of Liverpool’s centre-backs were injured before an FA Cup tie against Exeter and Jurgen Klopp was looking to the Academy for reinforcements. 

Speaking to the Football Journeys Podcast, Brewitt- who was released by Morecambe in the summer – detailed how he methodically thought about injuring Daniel Cleary – now playing for Dundalk – just so he’d be picked for the game.

“There were a few injuries – Sakho, Toure, Skrtel – and it was me and a lad called Dan Cleary in the reserves. Jurgen knew there was a crisis. Running up to the back end of December 2015, in my head, it was me or Dan Cleary who was going to make their debut for Liverpool’s first team,” said Tom Brewitt.

He adds: “I took the decision, it was me or him, so I went after him in training. Before Christmas and the time between Christmas and New Year, I put myself next to him in possession games, I put myself next to him in games, and I just kicked him. I wasn’t trying to hurt him badly but I was trying to hurt him enough so he was out the way and I would play.

“It was about a week before the Exeter game and I took a bit of a heavy touch in a seven-a-side and he’s come in to tackle me. I waited a split second too long and absolutely topped him, went over the ball, it was a bad tackle – I knew it was a bad tackle, I did it on purpose and I’m not incredibly proud of it. I’m not ashamed of it, either, because in my head it was me or him and I was choosing me.”

“There was a bit of a scuffle after it and I think he got sent in for his reaction, rightly so as his reaction was probably bang on, and I finished off the session. He was on crutches for the next two weeks, so it was sort of like, not mission accomplished because I think that’s a bit harsh because I didn’t really want to hurt him, I just needed him out the way for this game.”

Ultimately, Tom Brewitt’s cynical plan was in vain because Jurgen Klopp always intended to play Jose Enrique at centre-back in the game. The Liverpool manager also recalled Tiago Illori from his loan at Aston Villa for the January cup tie.

To compound matters, Brewitt never made it to the Exeter game because he picked up an injury of his own.

After hearing the comments on the podcast, Tom Brewitt’s former Liverpool teammate Cleary responded by tweeting: “Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter comes to mind” and that he was “lucky to walk away from that tackle with my leg in one piece.”

Since joining the Lilywhites, Cleary has won back-to-back league titles, the FAI Cup, the League Cup, and he’s about to play in the Europa League for Dundalk where he’ll be facing Arsenal.

Brewitt was released by Morecambe at the end of the 2019–20 season and is still searching for a club.

You can listen to the relevant section of the podcast below and see Cleary’s comments too.

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