Former Liverpool youth team player Tom Brewitt has admitted intentionally injuring his then team-mate Dan Cleary in order to ensure he wouldn't be in contention to compete with him a place in a Liverpool FA Cup tie.

Cleary, who is now with Dundalk, and Brewitt were both part of the Liverpool reserve squad during the 2015/16 season.

A series of injuries to the centre-backs in Jurgen Klopp's first team meant that the two young defenders were both in the running for a call-up for an FA Cup tie against Exeter.

Speaking on the Football Journeys Podcast, Brewittt admitted to deliberately targeting Cleary in the days building up to the cup tie, before finally going over the top and leaving the Irishman on crutches.

Brewitt explained: "Running up to the back end of December, it was me or Dan Cleary in my head, who was going to make their debut for Liverpool's first-team in this game."

"Me and Dan always got on to be honest, but I think I ended this relationship. 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, 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 came 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.

"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 as I didn't want to hurt him, I just needed him out the way for this game."

Despite deliberately injury Cleary to keep him out of the running for a first-team call-up, Brewittt would not feature in the FA Cup tie as he picked up an eye injury and concussion in the week of the game.

Cleary, who is preparing for a Europa League campaign with Dundalk, responded to the revelation on twitter. He tweeted: "Karma always works it's way back in football. Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours shine any brighter comes to mind.

"'Mission Accomplished' [I was] lucky to walk away from that tackle with my leg in one piece."

Brewitt is currently without a club after being released by Morecombe at the end of last season.