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Robby Mccrorie

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ALLAN MCGREGOR has always been an inspiration for Robby McCrorie. Now, though, he has an influence over the kid keeper.

The task of overhauling McGregor in the Ibrox pecking order is a seemingly impossible one for McCrorie right now. But his time working with the Light Blues’ shot-stopper may well give him the chance to succeed his mentor between the sticks in the future.

The return of McGregor in the summer has proven to be a shrewd piece of business by Rangers and the 36-year-old has already justified the decision to bring him back north of the border. At home and abroad, he has become an integral part of Steven Gerrard’s plans.

In terms of consistency, he is arguably Rangers’ top performer so far this term and he has raised the bar on and off the park. He is back in blue, and back in the groove.

For McCrorie, the chance to watch the Scotlandkeeper at close quarters has been a dream one and he finds himself very much involved in the Ibrox first team these days.

He is behind McGregor and Wes Foderingham in Gerrard’s thoughts at present but the improvements he is making week by week could enable him to challenge for the gloves one day.

“Allan has been a massive influence on me,” McCrorie told SportTimes. “In his first spell at Rangers, I trained with him a little bit and then he moved on and did really well.

“I always kept track of him because he is someone that I have always looked up to since I was a kid. He has been brand new with me since I came in and he is easy to go and speak to and ask about things in terms of what he has experienced. 

“It is great being able to learn from someone like him and it can only help me in the long run.

“I think he was 24 when he first made real breakthrough and for people in the public that might seem quite old. But from a goalkeeper’s perspective, that is about right, especially when you are at a massive club like Rangers.

“I do think the loan moves helped him massively and he has said that to me. It would be great for me to follow in his footsteps.

“Now I train with him every day and I am getting to know him a lot better. The first thing I noticed was his winning mentality and you can see that on the pitch.

“But even in the background, if we are playing small games, you need that. That is what it is all about and it is great being around him.”

When boss Gerrard took his squad to Spain for their pre-season preparations in the summer, he was keen to ensure that McCrorie was involved as a first team player.

He may have had McGregor, Foderingham and Jak Alnwick for company but he had earned a place in the squad and had a role to fulfil.

Alnwick’s departure on loan to Scunthorpe United has moved the 20-year-old up a spot and he was on the bench for the Betfred Cup tie with Ayr United this month.

His time in League Two with Berwick Rangers gave McCrorie a new experience. He may not have played first team football this term, but the lessons learned are still invaluable.

McCrorie said: “We have obviously got very good keepers at Rangers. Greegsy has been excellent and Wes, when he has been called upon, has been excellent as well.

“For me, I am still young and I can only learn from keepers like that. Greegsy has got loads of experience and Wes has been here for a few years and done really well.

“So I can take tips from both of them and it is a bonus to have the manager’s backing as well.

“Last season I was out on loan and I felt that I learned a lot from the experience. This year, I probably did think I was going out again but I was still open-minded and I just had to do my best when I came in for pre-season.

“I seem to have done well and impressed the manager and he pulled me in and said he wanted me at Rangers. That is something I want to be a part of because it is a great squad we have got just now and hopefully I can keep progressing.”

The breakthrough moment at Rangers has still to arrive for McCrorie but he has been able to make a name for himself on the international stage.

He was part of the Scotland Under-21 side that beat The Netherlands last month to keep alive their hopes of reaching the European Championship finals.

Now, Scot Gemmill’s side have a chance to finish the job as they target two wins against Ukraine and England in the final Group 4 outings.

McCrorie may not have joined up with the squad with match minutes under his belt, but he has brought with him the feelgood factor from life at Ibrox.

“It has been really good for me so far this season and I am happy with how things have gone,” he said.

“It helps with the people that have come into the club in terms of the whole coaching staff and the manager.

“His name obviously stands for itself but the coaches have brought something for every player and I think every player feels that they are developing. I feel that I am developing as well.

“It is great to be a part of it and there is a buzz around the place. I think you can feel that, especially when we have got some big results, and long may that continue.

“For any young player to be involved in things like that, and what could possibly happen, can only help. I am looking further down the line and want to be more involved in things like that. I will try and pick up as much as I can along the way.”

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I’ve said from the minute McGregor came in on his 2-3 year deal, can’t quite remember that after that McCrorie would go on and be our number 1 for a number of years. 

He looks fantastic anytime I’ve watched him when he was in the youths and the reports from his loans have been brilliant as well

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29 minutes ago, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

He is back in blue, and back in the groove.

Do we even have a blue goalkeeper kit?

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4 minutes ago, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

Should've called him Rory.

Should have called him Billy

Every Rangers fans should be called Billy. Really add a new angle to TBB

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37 minutes ago, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

I'm sure you can join the dots.

I can but we usually hate the papers printing lies.

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1 minute ago, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

Just as well it's not lies or @With Heart and Hand will be on the case telling us we're all offended.

Too early in the morning to be offended, in all seriousness it's a decent article but I think he would have benefitted from another loan spell but at a higher level.

I can't see him getting much of a chance this season and after McGregor's interview yesterday, I can't see him chucking it any time soon.

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1 minute ago, plumbGER said:

Too early in the morning to be offended, in all seriousness it's a decent article but I think he would have benefitted from another loan spell but at a higher level.

I can't see him getting much of a chance this season and after McGregor's interview yesterday, I can't see him chucking it any time soon.

Yeah can see both sides of the argument tbh.  More first team experience even on loan would be great. But what he'll be gaining working from the likes of McGregor by working with him daily, plus having the goalkeeping coach, will be priceless for him. Given it's a specialist position, could argue he'll develop better at Ibrox without 1st team football than on loan. Regardless, seems a right good player.

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Said before that I watched him at berwick a few times and if he keeps developing like he has he can go on to be a top class keeper.

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Good that he gets to work with McGregor for a season. Next season we can send him on loan to a bigger club, there is no point loaning him to third tier clubs. Maybe even a loan spell in SPL. When he comes back, he should be reaey to take over fron McGregor, who might retire by then anyway.

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On 10/10/2018 at 09:32, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

Yeah can see both sides of the argument tbh.  More first team experience even on loan would be great. But what he'll be gaining working from the likes of McGregor by working with him daily, plus having the goalkeeping coach, will be priceless for him. Given it's a specialist position, could argue he'll develop better at Ibrox without 1st team football than on loan. Regardless, seems a right good player.

A loan agreement where he trained with us and played matches for the loan team would be ideal, or even just trained with them once a week and the rest with us.

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1 minute ago, toolongawake said:

A loan agreement where he trained with us and played matches for the loan team would be ideal, or even just trained with them once a week and the rest with us.

Hmmm don't know if I agree with that. Part of a loan needs to be to immerse yourself in the situation - building relationships, dealing with lesser facilities, being treated equally amongst teammates etc. It's about the experience, and perhaps appreciating what could be at Ibrox if you succeed.

A bit of extra coaching is one thing, but I think it's got to be all in at the loan club for it to work. 

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1 hour ago, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

Hmmm don't know if I agree with that. Part of a loan needs to be to immerse yourself in the situation - building relationships, dealing with lesser facilities, being treated equally amongst teammates etc. It's about the experience, and perhaps appreciating what could be at Ibrox if you succeed.

A bit of extra coaching is one thing, but I think it's got to be all in at the loan club for it to work. 

It’s because he is full time with us and Berwick were part time he would train with them when they are training but still train with us also. 

 

He has a bright future for us a couple years back a few big clubs down south wanted him to go down but he stayed here, not sure how much of an interest right enough. 

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2 hours ago, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

Hmmm don't know if I agree with that. Part of a loan needs to be to immerse yourself in the situation - building relationships, dealing with lesser facilities, being treated equally amongst teammates etc. It's about the experience, and perhaps appreciating what could be at Ibrox if you succeed.

A bit of extra coaching is one thing, but I think it's got to be all in at the loan club for it to work. 

Very true mate, depends on what the management see as more valuable, learning from McGregor or competitive game time.

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He's very fortunate to be the understudy of a world class goalkeeper like McGregor.

If he can become half as good as AM then he will have a very bright future in the game.

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