|Date of birth||26 January 1973|
|Place of birth||Carnlough, Northern Ireland|
|Current club||Liverpool (manager)|
|1988||Northern Ireland Schools||7||(?)|
Brendan Rodgers (born 26 January 1973) is a Northern Irish former footballerwho is the current manager of Premier League club Liverpool.
Rodgers began his career as a defender at Ballymena United, where he stayed until he was signed by Reading at the age of 18, although injury forced him to retire at the age of 20. He remained at Reading as a coach before being invited by José Mourinho to join Chelsea as their youth team manager in 2004. He was then promoted to reserve team manager in 2006.
In 2008 he was appointed manager of Watford, where he remained until accepting an offer to become manager of his former club Reading in 2009. He left the club by mutual consent after a series of disappointing results six months later, later returning to full-time management with Swansea City in 2010. He led the club to win promotion to the Premier League, the first Welshteam ever to do so, before guiding them to finish 11th in their début Premier League season. On 1 June 2012, Rodgers accepted an offer to become the new manager of Liverpool.
Early life[edit source | edit]
Rodgers was born in Carnlough, Northern Ireland, to parents Malachy and Christina, the eldest of five brothers. He was educated at St Patrick's College in Ballymena, playing Gaelic football and hurling before taking up football when he was 13. He grew up as a supporter of Celtic and Sheffield Wednesday.
Early career[edit source | edit]
As a teenager Rodgers represented Northern Ireland at Schoolboy level,notably playing against Brazil in 1988. He began his senior career in Northern Ireland as a defender for Ballymena United. He was signed byReading at the age of 17, where he played in the reserves. His playing career was cut short at the age of 20 due to a genetic knee condition. Following this enforced retirement, Rodgers briefly played in non-league football forNewport (IOW), Witney Town and Newbury Town, whilst remaining a youth coach at Reading.
Rodgers travelled around Spain studying different coaching methods, and was eventually invited by manager José Mourinho to join theChelsea Academy as the head youth coach in 2004. He was promoted to reserve team manager two years later, and was kept in that position by Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Managerial career[edit source | edit]
Watford[edit source | edit]
On 24 November 2008, Rodgers left Chelsea in order to become manager of Championship side Watford. Rodgers won only two of his first ten league games as manager, and Watford were in the relegation zone by January. Watford's form dramatically improved however, and Rodgers was able to guide them to finish 13th.
Reading[edit source | edit]
After Steve Coppell resigned as Reading manager, Rodgers quickly became the favourite to rejoin his old club. He initially distanced himself from the job, saying that his "concentration (is) fully on Watford", although he would later agree a deal to become the new manager of Reading on 5 June 2009 after a compensation package of an initial £500,000 had been agreed, which later rose to £1 million. The Watford Supporters' Trust stated that because of the move, Rodgers' reputation was "severely damaged" in the eyes of the supporters, but they nevertheless "thanked (Rodgers) for his efforts last season" and "(wished) him well for the future".
On 11 August, Rodgers got his first win as Reading manager with a 5–1 win over League Two side Burton Albion in the first round of the League Cup. Despite a good start in the league, a very disappointing string of results followed, culminating in Rodgers leaving Reading by mutual consent on 16 December, just over six months after his arrival.
Swansea City[edit source | edit]
Rodgers accepted an offer to become the manager of Championship side Swansea City on 16 July 2010. Prior to this appointment he had had talks with regard to joining the coaching staff atManchester City under manager Roberto Mancini. He got off to a winning start as manager, leading to Rodgers being awarded the Championship Manager of the Month Award for February 2011 after Swansea won five out of the six league games they played that month, whilst keeping four clean sheets. By 25 April 2011, Rodgers had managed to secure Swansea City's place in the 2011 Championship play-offs for promotion into the Premier League with a convincing 4-1 victory over Ipswich Town at the Liberty Stadium.
On 16 May 2011, Rodgers led Swansea to the 2011 Football League Championship play-off Finalafter overcoming favourites Nottingham Forest over two legs. He faced his old club Reading in the final at Wembley Stadium on 30 May 2011, which Swansea won 4-2 thanks in part to a hat-trick from Scott Sinclair, meaning Swansea became the first Welsh team ever to gain promotion to the Premier League. Rodgers was also praised for consoling Reading manager Brian McDermott and owner John Madejski before the trophy presentation.
Rodgers' first win in the Premier League came on 17 September 2011 when Swansea beat West Bromwich Albion 3–0 at the Liberty Stadium. Despite many predicting before the season began that Swansea were favourites to be relegated, their debut season proved very impressive, as they picked up points against Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, keeping them well above the relegation zone.
In January 2012, Swansea claimed their first away win of the season at Aston Villa, a month which saw them beat Arsenal 3–2 at home and hold Chelsea to a 1–1 home draw. This saw Rodgers earn the Premier League Manager of the Month. In February 2012, Rodgers signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract to keep him at the club until July 2015, although the 1-0 win over Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium on the final day of the season – a result that saw Swansea finish 11th – turned out to be Rodgers' last as manager.
Liverpool[edit source | edit]
On 1 June 2012, Rodgers was unveiled as the new Liverpool manager on a three-year contract following the departure of Kenny Dalglish two weeks previously. Rodgers' appointment was immediately endorsed by former colleague and Real Madrid managerJosé Mourinho. In July 2012, Rodgers wrote an open letter to the Swansea City supporters, thanking both staff and supporters for his time at the club and wishing them well for the future. Days later, Rodgers held his first training session as Liverpool manager atMelwood as some of the squad reported back for pre-season training.
On 2 August 2012, Rodgers oversaw his first competitive game as Liverpool manager, a 1–0 win in the Europa League against FC Gomel, and won his first home game in charge in the second leg one week later. In his first league game as manager on 18 August, Liverpool lost 3–0 against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. His first win in the league came against Norwich atCarrow Road, Liverpool winning 5–2. On 31 October, Rodgers welcomed his former club Swansea to Anfield in the fourth round of the League Cup, but fell short as Liverpool were defeated 1–3. On 6 December, Liverpool defeated Udinese 1–0 away in the Europa League to qualify for the last thirty-two as group winners. On 27 January 2013, Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup in thefourth round, surprisingly losing 3–2 to League One team Oldham Athletic. Liverpool finished in seventh position in the Premier League in his first season in charge, one position higher than the previous season.
Personal life[edit source | edit]
Rodgers is married to Susan, with whom he has: a daughter, Mischa; and a son, Anton, who plays for Oldham.
In June 2011, Rodgers joined a team representing The Football League to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care in honour of his mother – who died in 2010 – and his father – who died of cancer in 2011.
Rodgers speaks Spanish and Italian. His nickname is "Buck Rodgers", after the Buck Rogers character with a similar name.