Liverpool academy boss Steve Heighway has described Rafael Benitez's decision to assume control of the coaching of the club's up-and-coming players as 'crazy'.

Heighway oversaw the Reds' triumph in the FA Youth Cup final last week and announced after the second leg that he would be leaving the academy after 19 years.

Heighway said: 'Rafa is a terrific manager, tactically astute with qualities I really admire, but in my view I'm the best coach of 17 and 18-year-old players in this club. But I no longer get the chance to do that. That's crazy, that's mad; it's to the detriment of the young players at this club.'

During Heighway's time at the club players such as Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have come through the ranks.