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The Boys’ Brigade at Rangers’ call


Muff

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RANGERS were grateful for almost ever single body in their vast 28-man squad towards the end of last season. As the number of players absent through injury, suspension or - in the case of Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor - indiscipline mounted, Walter Smith turned to the forgotten men to dig Rangers out of a hole.

The trumpet sounded and in came the likes of Andrius Velicka, Stevie Smith and Christian Dailly to save the day, players who had barely featured throughout the campaign but whose input proved vital as Rangers chased down Celtic to win the league title.

Smith, though, will not be able to call on the cavalry this season should his first-choice players find themselves unavailable for action. The Rangers manager could not have been clearer when he recently outlined the club's transfer policy for the remainder of the summer: the size of the squad must be drastically reduced and, unless there is significant movement out the door, there will be no new arrivals this summer.

Shirts still need to be filled, however. Reinforcements must be found in case of emergency. In the coming season, therefore, Smith will have little choice but to knock on the door of his youth coaches and ask what have you got for me?' It is time for the young recruits to answer that call.

Sir David Murray, the Rangers chairman, has also made it clear this is the road the club must go down.

More than £25m has been spent in running costs at the training ground that bears his name and the time has come for the system to start bearing fruit.

"We have to see a return and if we don't get one then there is no point in the facility being in place," said Murray on the club's website recently.

The young hopefuls come in two groups. There are those around the 20-21 age bracket who must now sense this is make or break time for them.

The majority of them spent last season out on loan to garner match experience with some, including Dean Furman and Georgios Efrem, electing not to return.

They are the players with brief first-team experience who would be best placed to fill in for their senior counterparts at short notice for one or two matches but who are running out of time to prove they have a long-term future at Ibrox.

Then there are the younger ones aged 17 to 19. Rangers have high hopes for this bracket. In the recent European Championship qualifying match between Scotland and England, Rangers provided five of the starting line-up for the Scots. This group includes John Fleck, who made several appearances last season, and Danny Wilson, the young man seen as the successor to David Weir in central defence.

They may lack the maturity and physique, Fleck excepted, to perform every week in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League but they are tipped to become the mainstay of future sides.

Billy Stark, the Scotland youth team manager, has worked with many of the young players at international level and assessed their readiness to make the step up.

Andrew Shinnie

Position Midfield

Age 20

We used Andrew on the right side of midfield for the Scotland under-21s. He's not a traditional winger in the sense of looking to beat players and penetrate defences, but was more than capable of getting in behind players and looking to score from wide areas. His preferred area, though, is in the middle and you could tell that from his play as he wanted to hold on to the ball and pass it. It's an easier position to play but he never shirked his responsibilities when asked to play on the flanks.

Rory Loy

Position Attack

Age 21

Rory is another who has been used in a number of positions. On loan at Dunfermline last year they played him in wide in a front three but I would say he was more suited to a central role. He works along the line well and is a hard worker. Front players these days have to possess a work ethic as they are the first line of pressure to get the ball back.

That is something Rory does well but will be looking to master going forward.

Danny Wilson

Position Defence

Age 17

Danny trained with the first team in the second half of last season and was on the bench for the Scottish Cup final so he would seem to have a real chance. He's certainly comfortable on the ball but he can defend too - there's no point passing it like Beckenbauer if you can't do the basics. He's very competitive and is left-sided which is a bonus. It's quite common for teams to play a right-footed player on the left so the fact Danny's naturally left-sided would seem to further aid his cause.

Ross Perry

Position Defence

Age 19

Ross has a terrific built and presence for a centre half, with good upper body strength. He's reasonably quick over the ground, athletic, and can go and challenge in the air. His reading of the game could always improve but that is something that comes with age and experience. He should get that playing with better players if he makes the step up at Rangers.

Jamie Ness

Position Midfield

Age 18

We had Jamie at under-19s last year and he will be with us again next season. He's 6ft, left-footed and very comfortable in the middle of the park. He's the kind of player who always wants to be on the ball and make things happen, although he likes to get his foot in, too. He's got decent body strength but that needs to be developed, which is only natural in a young lad.

He is also working hard on his passing to try to improve that aspect.

Archie Campbell

Position Attack

Age 18

Archie has proven to be a prolific goalscorer. He's very quick and uses that to his full advantage. It will be interesting to see when he steps up to men's football if his pace is still as explosive and whether he can still exploit it fully. He also is very industrious and runs himself into the ground which is a real asset.

His finishing has been deadly in youth football but it is something he needs to keep working on.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/sport/headlines...angers_call.php

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The good thing about that is the guys mentioned are younger and scottish. If you look at a few of the other players such as Andy Little the Northern Ireland internationalist who could also step in this season. I would like to have seen players such as those mentioned during the season this year rather than the daily's and hemdani's etc.

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Archie Campbell is going to have the hardest job of getting 1st team action out of these lads. We've got Boyd, Miller, Novo, Lafferty, Naismith & Velicka that all stand in the lad's way of getting 1st team striking action. With any luck, he might get a 15-20 minute run out if we're 4-0 up in a cup tie, but he'd need to be on the bench for even that to happen.

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They are the players with brief first-team experience who would be best placed to fill in for their senior counterparts at short notice for one or two matches but who are running out of time to prove they have a long-term future at Ibrox.

Then there are the younger ones aged 17 to 19. Rangers have high hopes for this bracket. In the recent European Championship qualifying match between Scotland and England, Rangers provided five of the starting line-up for the Scots. This group includes John Fleck, who made several appearances last season, and Danny Wilson, the young man seen as the successor to David Weir in central defence.

They may lack the maturity and physique, Fleck excepted, to perform every week in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League but they are tipped to become the mainstay of future sides.

Billy Stark, the Scotland youth team manager, has worked with many of the young players at international level and assessed their readiness to make the step up.

Andrew Shinnie

Position Midfield

Age 20

We used Andrew on the right side of midfield for the Scotland under-21s. He's not a traditional winger in the sense of looking to beat players and penetrate defences, but was more than capable of getting in behind players and looking to score from wide areas. His preferred area, though, is in the middle and you could tell that from his play as he wanted to hold on to the ball and pass it. It's an easier position to play but he never shirked his responsibilities when asked to play on the flanks.

Rory Loy

Position Attack

Age 21

Rory is another who has been used in a number of positions. On loan at Dunfermline last year they played him in wide in a front three but I would say he was more suited to a central role. He works along the line well and is a hard worker. Front players these days have to possess a work ethic as they are the first line of pressure to get the ball back.

That is something Rory does well but will be looking to master going forward.

Danny Wilson

Position Defence

Age 17

Danny trained with the first team in the second half of last season and was on the bench for the Scottish Cup final so he would seem to have a real chance. He's certainly comfortable on the ball but he can defend too - there's no point passing it like Beckenbauer if you can't do the basics. He's very competitive and is left-sided which is a bonus. It's quite common for teams to play a right-footed player on the left so the fact Danny's naturally left-sided would seem to further aid his cause.

Ross Perry

Position Defence

Age 19

Ross has a terrific built and presence for a centre half, with good upper body strength. He's reasonably quick over the ground, athletic, and can go and challenge in the air. His reading of the game could always improve but that is something that comes with age and experience. He should get that playing with better players if he makes the step up at Rangers.

Jamie Ness

Position Midfield

Age 18

We had Jamie at under-19s last year and he will be with us again next season. He's 6ft, left-footed and very comfortable in the middle of the park. He's the kind of player who always wants to be on the ball and make things happen, although he likes to get his foot in, too. He's got decent body strength but that needs to be developed, which is only natural in a young lad.

He is also working hard on his passing to try to improve that aspect.

Archie Campbell

Position Attack

Age 18

Archie has proven to be a prolific goalscorer. He's very quick and uses that to his full advantage. It will be interesting to see when he steps up to men's football if his pace is still as explosive and whether he can still exploit it fully. He also is very industrious and runs himself into the ground which is a real asset.

His finishing has been deadly in youth football but it is something he needs to keep working on.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/sport/headlines...angers_call.php

Good to get more insight. I'm gonnae try and get to more youth games this upcoming season, at Murray Park.

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Interesting - what does scare me is that Wilson is only 17 - that is far to young to play a sustained number of games in the first team - great prospect he may be but he is NOT our answer this season - I do hope we get a CB before end August!

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Interesting - what does scare me is that Wilson is only 17 - that is far to young to play a sustained number of games in the first team - great prospect he may be but he is NOT our answer this season - I do hope we get a CB before end August!

I totally agree with you on that he needs to play a bit part over the next 2-3 seasons efore becoming a regular. It fills me with Hope hearing about these players but i still think we need to bring in a couple of players

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Shinnie and Loy are of an age now that they must challange the first team.

Wilson is ticking all the right boxes and sounds like a great young player but he's a boy and needs to be used sparingly,i'd use all these boys in the Co-op cup to gain experience and work their way into the first team.

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Interesting - what does scare me is that Wilson is only 17 - that is far to young to play a sustained number of games in the first team - great prospect he may be but he is NOT our answer this season - I do hope we get a CB before end August!

age means nothing if the guy is good enough or as good as he is made out to be then he is good enough for the First team end of.

rooney and fabregas are two examples of this

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Interesting - what does scare me is that Wilson is only 17 - that is far to young to play a sustained number of games in the first team - great prospect he may be but he is NOT our answer this season - I do hope we get a CB before end August!

I totally agree with you on that he needs to play a bit part over the next 2-3 seasons efore becoming a regular. It fills me with Hope hearing about these players but i still think we need to bring in a couple of players

Hello and welcome to the mentality that's held the youth development of Rangers and Celtic back for the last 10 years.

Fabregas, Rooney, Walcott, Ronaldo (both), Maldini, Guardiola, Iniesta, Henry....

The list of players who have started playing regularly at 17/18 is endless, yet people want Wilson to be a bit part for possibly the next THREE years?!

This is why Hibs can get £2m for Gary O'Connor and £3m for Fletcher while we struggle to get £500k for Charlie Adam. The mentality and general attitude towards youth within our fanbase absolutely disgusts me.

Why on earth would you want to waste Wilson's next three years using him as a bit part? I'd rather see him get constant First Division football than do that.

If I have one Rangers pet hate, it's the way the fans think about youngsters breaking through. You'd think it was a crime to play a 17 year old.

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Interesting - what does scare me is that Wilson is only 17 - that is far to young to play a sustained number of games in the first team - great prospect he may be but he is NOT our answer this season - I do hope we get a CB before end August!

I totally agree with you on that he needs to play a bit part over the next 2-3 seasons efore becoming a regular. It fills me with Hope hearing about these players but i still think we need to bring in a couple of players

Hello and welcome to the mentality that's held the youth development of Rangers and Celtic back for the last 10 years.

Fabregas, Rooney, Walcott, Ronaldo (both), Maldini, Guardiola, Iniesta, Henry....

The list of players who have started playing regularly at 17/18 is endless, yet people want Wilson to be a bit part for possibly the next THREE years?!

This is why Hibs can get £2m for Gary O'Connor and £3m for Fletcher while we struggle to get £500k for Charlie Adam. The mentality and general attitude towards youth within our fanbase absolutely disgusts me.

Why on earth would you want to waste Wilson's next three years using him as a bit part? I'd rather see him get constant First Division football than do that.

If I have one Rangers pet hate, it's the way the fans think about youngsters breaking through. You'd think it was a crime to play a 17 year old.

Completely agree papa,

If these boys are good enough why oh why would you wait 2 to 3 years to get them in the team, they should be playing as often as possible gaining as much experiance as the possibly can, domestically and in europe.

The only way we are going to see the benefits of murray park is to play these players, as we seem to sell a lot of our players nowadays, which option do you think suits other clubs when looking at a player.

1. 2 years from now Wilson is 19, so we have a 19 year old CB, who is a fantastic prospect but hasnt played too much in the first team the last couple of years.

or 2. A 19 year old CB with 2 league campaigns and some valuable european experiance.

I know which player i would be more inclined to buy and would be willing to pay a bit more cash for.

Im not sure but didn't players like Ramos, Casillas etc start when they were teenagers aswell.

The sooner we get them in, the sooner we find out if they are good enough or not, no point in all this talk about, this lad could be great etc.

If a player is good enough to play in our team, then get him in right away, we are a big club in terms of pressure and expectation, so if the player cant handle it then he is never going to be good enough anyway.

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I reckon a few changes to the policy would work wonders this year. Why not adopt a Wenger-like attitude and use these youngsters in domestic Cup games? Less pressure than the League and often against lower league opposition. Would be a great opportunity for them to gain some experience instead of kickabouts at Murray Park.

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I reckon a few changes to the policy would work wonders this year. Why not adopt a Wenger-like attitude and use these youngsters in domestic Cup games? Less pressure than the League and often against lower league opposition. Would be a great opportunity for them to gain some experience instead of kickabouts at Murray Park.

I think this is a great idea,

I have spoken to a few people about it and the opinion seems divided,

Some people just want us to win every single competition we are in, i want rangers to win everything they enter, but i do think this can also be achieved by playing the young players, maybe not so much the Scottish cup but definately the Co-op Cup.

It doesn't even have to be a full team, just some youngster coupled with 1 or 2 main players and the rest with players on the fringes of the first team.

Personally think it would be beneficial as we are going to be play in 4 tournaments most seasons, so why not give some of the regular players a well deserved rest.

Probably makes far too much sense.

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The only way we are going to see the benefits of murray park is to play these players, as we seem to sell a lot of our players nowadays, which option do you think suits other clubs when looking at a player.

1. 2 years from now Wilson is 19, so we have a 19 year old CB, who is a fantastic prospect but hasnt played too much in the first team the last couple of years.

or 2. A 19 year old CB with 2 league campaigns and some valuable european experiance.

I know which player i would be more inclined to buy and would be willing to pay a bit more cash for.

There's my argument in one.

Who would you rather sell/buy/play?

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Interesting - what does scare me is that Wilson is only 17 - that is far to young to play a sustained number of games in the first team - great prospect he may be but he is NOT our answer this season - I do hope we get a CB before end August!

I totally agree with you on that he needs to play a bit part over the next 2-3 seasons efore becoming a regular. It fills me with Hope hearing about these players but i still think we need to bring in a couple of players

Hello and welcome to the mentality that's held the youth development of Rangers and Celtic back for the last 10 years.

Fabregas, Rooney, Walcott, Ronaldo (both), Maldini, Guardiola, Iniesta, Henry....

The list of players who have started playing regularly at 17/18 is endless, yet people want Wilson to be a bit part for possibly the next THREE years?!

This is why Hibs can get £2m for Gary O'Connor and £3m for Fletcher while we struggle to get £500k for Charlie Adam. The mentality and general attitude towards youth within our fanbase absolutely disgusts me.

Why on earth would you want to waste Wilson's next three years using him as a bit part? I'd rather see him get constant First Division football than do that.

If I have one Rangers pet hate, it's the way the fans think about youngsters breaking through. You'd think it was a crime to play a 17 year old.

Fabregas, Rooney, Walcott, Ronaldo (both), Maldini, Guardiola, Iniesta, Henry....

Its NOT a crime to play a 17 year old - but NONE of the above players played full seasons at 17 or even 18 and they are exceptions and exceptional.

People have been talking on here as if Wilson could stand in as CB - IMHO he could (and should) play a few games but there is now way he will be able to sustain 40 odd games at 17!

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Out of that list, Fabregas, Rooney, Walcott, fat Ronaldo, Maldini and Guardiola all played full seasons at a high level at the ages of 17 and/or 18.

They are exceptions though BP9, no doubt about it.

My question would be - How do we know that our youngsters aren't exceptional, without giving them the chance to play first team football? I think even Fabregas has commented before about how reserve and youth football are no indicator for how a player will perform on the big stage.

I do agree with you that he can't play 40/50 games a season, but I don't think he should be a bit part for the next three years.

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