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  1. did you know that when jim baxter had his trial for raith rovers it was against the rangers .
  2. ....and beat Celtic to one last Premiership title before I go. Kenny Miller has revealed his wish to retire as a Rangers player, ideally with the parting gift of one last top-flight winners’ medal as he plans to plunder more prizes before hanging up his shooting boots. The 34-year-old is back with the club for a third spell this summer and would like to make his return signing the 10th and final move of his nomadic career. Miller flew out to Los Angeles on Saturday as Ally McCoist’s squad embarked on a four-game North American tour that will take the striker back to Canada, where he starred for Vancouver Whitecaps in a previous pit-stop. For Miller, though, there is no place like the football home that he regards as Ibrox. Yet this is no comfort zone for the former Scotland international, who stresses his ambitions stretch further than helping hoist Rangers into the Premiership next May. He would love to finish his playing days with his current employers and, feeling fresh into a new pre-season, has no interest in setting a time limit on that. So he still has a top-flight title challenge within his career compass and a desire to add to the three Scottish Premier League medals he won for Rangers back in stint two under Walter Smith. Miller’s motivation on the first step towards that goal is to contribute sufficiently to a successful promotion campaign against former club Hibernian and Hearts so that he earns the optional year on his new Rangers contract. He’ll then take aim at bigger prizes. ‘You never know because if they kick me out of the door at Rangers after a year, I’d imagine I’ll still want to play on,’ said Miller. ‘But it would be my intention to finish up here. I’ve got a year with a year option, depending on games. So it’s pretty much on me. ‘As long as I’m fit, playing and performing then, hopefully, it will turn into another year. It’s going to take a good season this year for us to get there and then obviously some serious competition next year to get back challenging. ‘But that’s the aim for me anyway — to be back at the top of Scottish football where we belong. To top things off would be to win the league back in the Premiership. ‘Rangers shouldn’t go in to any competition thinking of accepting second best, so that’s what we’ll be aiming for next year if we get there. ‘I hope to be around for that. I want to play as long as I can. I feel strong and fit right now. Of course, only time will tell if the performances follow but, if I do that, then there’s no reason why I can’t be around for a bit longer.’ The highlights of Miller’s 67 goals in 147 appearances so far for Rangers were in SPL and Champions League competition. The second tier of the Scottish game, though, is nothing new to him. As an Easter Road teenager, he played seven games either side of a loan spell at Stenhousemuir as Hibs bounced back at the first time of asking in 1998/99. Franck Sauzee, Russell Latapy, Paul Hartley and Mixu Paatelainen were among the heroes of Alex McLeish’s team that year as crowds flocked back to Leith to see a team canter to the First Division title. Not since that campaign has there been such a buzz about the division now known as the Championship. As Miller recalls the year that one of the traditional top-flight teams had to claw their way back up, he admits he can’t wait to sample the curiosities of a season like no other as three giants of the game collide in an unfamiliar environment. ‘I made my debut the season Hibs got relegated and made a few appearances while the team was promoted,’ he said. ‘It was a big season for me. They brought Latapy and Sauzee — that pair must have sold 5,000 tickets alone each week, given the standard of players they were. ‘Hibs had a fantastic season. To draw those players to the club was phenomenal and what they went on to do was amazing. ‘A winning team on the pitch can create a fantastic atmosphere within the club and the crowds were up. I can see big crowds and huge games in this division. It’s going to be a fantastic season and one I’m really looking forward to. ‘To come back to Rangers not in the top division is incredible in itself but for Hearts and Hibs to be there also is phenomenal. I never thought I’d be back playing against them in the Championship. ‘It will be a competitive league and a big challenge for us. But it’s a challenge I feel this squad probably needs after the last couple of years. ‘No disrespect to the opposition Rangers have been facing but I feel the challenges coming our way this year will really raise the standards of the players we’ve got.’ Miller and strike partner Kris Boyd were reunited last weekend as both players got off the mark on a two-game Highland tour. The next phase of pre-season will involve the long-haul journeys to which he was accustomed as a Vancouver Whitecap. After games on the west coast of the United States against Ventura County Fusion and Sacramento Republic FC, Miller returns to British Columbia for a game against Victoria Highlanders a week tomorrow, before the final game with Ottawa Fury on July 23. He called Vancouver home for two years after joining the Major League Soccer side from Cardiff City midway through their 2012 season. Under the Scottish coaching team of Martin Rennie and ex-Scotland international defender Paul Ritchie, Miller helped guide Whitecaps to a first-ever appearance in the MLS Cup play-offs that year. However, he admits there were facets of professional life in Canada that he found difficult to embrace. ‘If you are a guy like myself who if he doesn’t win the weekend is ruined, then that side is not there so much,’ explained Miller. ‘You see others who don’t have that. It’s not that they don’t care — far from it — but just not as much as I did. ‘In Scotland, you lose and you don’t want to go out. It’s straight home on a Saturday, a Chinese and the X Factor. Here we live, breathe and eat football. Across there, it’s not quite as life or death as it is for us. I found that mentality towards it a bit hard to get used to. ‘This is not any slight on anyone I played with. It’s just the way they are brought up. This has been my life since I was four. Ever since I could walk, I had a ball at my feet. ‘I’d argue till the cows come home that it doesn’t mean as much to them, whereas it’s a way of life for us. That’s what I’ve come back to at Rangers. ‘Vancouver is a beautiful place and there are amazing cities to live in or visit for players going to MLS. ‘There’s a more relaxed lifestyle, so I can understand why people want to do it. I’d just say it’s a very different attitude to football. ‘I was grateful for the opportunity as it was something I’d always talked about trying. I enjoyed some aspects but not others. I was fortunate that there were British guys as coaches, we had good people in charge. ‘Being so far from home and away from friends and family is always tough, though. ‘Towards the end, I had an eye on moving home somewhere — and Rangers was always that No 1 option.’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2690178/Kenny-Miller-exclusive-I-want-finish-career-Rangers-win-one-Premiership-title-I-go.html
  3. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/scotland/10831983/Scotland-Under-17-coach-Scot-Gemmill-targets-success-as-he-looks-to-escape-from-shadow-of-father-Archie.html By Henry Winter, Football Correspondent 7:36PM BST 14 May 2014 Scot Gemmill is making a name for himself as one of the most promising young coaches around. He is currently the talk of the Uefa Under-17 Championships in Malta after his Scotland team overcame Germany on Monday. Gemmill’s team play Switzerland at Hibernians in Paola on Thursday and could face England in the semi-finals. The 43-year-old is thoughtful, self-deprecating yet ambitious, willingly admitting “I want to win the Champions League”, and is partly driven to make a name for himself as a coach and manager after finding it difficult to live up to the playing pedigree of his father. Most famously, Archie Gemmill dribbled through Holland’s defence to score an iconic Scotland goal in the 1978 World Cup. He also won two titles with Derby County and the league and European Cup at Nottingham Forest. His son enjoyed a decent career, playing mainly for Forest and Everton and for Scotland on 26 occasions. There was particular frustration at sitting on the bench at France 98. This was the World Cup, the stage his father graced. “I grew up idolising my dad, captain of Scotland," said Gemmill. “I wanted to play in the World Cup so badly. Naively, I thought I could play a part and something special could happen. “I never got that opportunity. To be so close to such an occasion and not quite make it was a massive disappointment, even more now looking back. The frustration hasn’t eased. It wasn’t only the Brazil game. I didn’t kick a ball in the whole tournament. I also went to Euro 96 and didn’t kick a ball. “I didn’t quite to get to play the level I wanted. I only scored five goals for Everton. In my first season for Forest, I scored 14 goals from central midfield. Roy Keane scored 15. It was all downhill for me after that! I don’t reflect on my career as successful. That really drives me on to be successful as a coach. “My father was so successful that I judge myself against him but I was never the star player, never the fans’ favourite. I lived a completely normal life even though I was a Premiership footballer. I could walk down the street completely unrecognised. “People ask me what’s it’s like to have a famous father? I don’t know what it’s like not to have a famous father. It’s completely normal to me to have a famous father. But I know it’s affected me. It’s influenced the way I behave as a coach and how I am as a person. It’s all connected to him.’’ So he relishes this chance with Scotland Under-17s. “This particular group at the Euro finals have a defiance and resilience. It’s something that my father tried week after week to ingrain in me, playing as if your life depends on it, playing with that edge. That’s something I try to convey to the players. The players who do end up successful are those for whom discipline and commitment are non-negotiable.’’ Along with the wise counsel of his father, Gemmill has had major influences that have shaped his nascent success as a manager. “Mr Clough had this X factor. Martin O’Neill nailed it when he said you wanted to please him. The top coaches today, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, have a similar influence on their players. Their players are convinced those guys can improve them. Those players go out completely inspired and motivated just as Clough’s players did. “At Forest, there was no real coaching but the message was clear in regards of keeping the ball. Most of Clough’s team-talks involved a towel in the middle of the dressing-room floor with the ball on it, the referee banging on the door, demanding the teams go into the tunnel but nobody was allowed to move or speak until Clough said ‘get the ball and when we get it, we keep it and pass it to ‘our Nige’. “At the end of the game, Clough would normally be on his knees, offering to untie Keane’s boots for him, because he idolised Keane. I stole a line that Clough use to say to Keane. I said to one of the young Scotland strikers: ‘run hard on the pitch and if you can’t run any more I’ll come on and carry you off myself’.’’ Basically: give everything. The memory of playing alongside Keane reminds Gemmill of the hunger required for the younger players. “I played in the game when Roy came over from Ireland: Scarborough away in a trial game. Roy and I played in midfield. Roy asked to play on the right and I wouldn’t let him. Whenever I bump into him, that’s the first thing he reminds me of! He struggled to get over that one! Even as a young player he was very demanding, very quick to let you know if standards weren’t being reached.’’ After Forest, Gemmill moved to Everton, eventually playing under David Moyes. “He was very intense. He would have ordered your dinner for you back then if he took the team to a restaurant. That’s how intense he was. I felt he was a really good coach but I didn’t think that he had the balance quite right between coaching and management. He had the potential. He showed how good a coach he was but I didn’t feel that he was maximising himself as a manager. “My best friend in football is David Weir, who worked under him (at Everton). David says he (Moyes) has learned, adapted his managerial style because he’d been made aware that he was a little bit too intense, that he needed to give the players a bit more freedom. That intensity helped get him to get where he got to. It was a big part of what he did. It would be interesting to know if he has adapted.’’ Moyes’ failure at Manchester United “would not damage the reputation of Scottish coaches”, Gemmill added. Gemmill did not stroll into management. “If you spoke to me the year I stopped playing in 2007, I would have said 100 per cent that I’ll not miss football. I was wrong. It’s as big a part of my life as my family are. I needed it way more than I thought. I am here because I want to win the Champions League. “If you spoke to anyone about Scot Gemmill they’ll say ‘he’s too nice a guy to be a top manager, not nasty enough.’ I don’t agree with them but I understand how I’m perceived. My old team-mates would question whether I had the potential to be a top manager or top coach.’’ He gained inspiration by reading “The Chimp Paradox” by Dr Steve Peters, the sports psychiatrist. “The book helped me understand that it’s OK to be uncommon, that I’m not a weirdo. I just needed authority. I need authority to be able influence players. It helped me understand how my brain works. It helps you get to the next level.” His journey to the next level began in Barcelona where he’d moved with his wife Ruth. “Her patience and understanding of my ambition and career are incredible. She will go anywhere with me. It helps that Barcelona is a beautiful place to live. We rented an apartment and every day I’d catch the tram to the Barcelona training ground and watch the youth team and the B team. I looked over the fence and watched Oscar Garcia (recently of Brighton & Hove Albion) taking the sessions, standing at the side of training. “Ramon Planes was sporting director of Espanol. I guessed his email address, emailed him and the next day he invited me in. I went to do my Pro-licence at Espanol with Mauricio Pochettino. I was living in Barcelona when Pochettino became Southampton manager. The first thing he did was take Southampton to Barcelona, and they trained at the Olympic stadium two times a day for five days. I was in that stadium every day watching those sessions. “I knew they would be crucial sessions where the new manager was trying to get his ideas across, and show his team how he wanted them to play, playing out from the back. I sneaked into that twice a day to see. It reassured me for my own development that he wasn’t doing anything I wouldn’t do. That gave me the confidence to kick on.’’ Scotland’s Under-17s have responded strongly to Gemmill. “I’ve tried consciously not to refer to my playing career in team-talks or individual meetings with the players. I don’t want them to see me as an ex-player. I want them to see me as a coach who can help them improve. “A playing career has less than five per cent relevance to management. It gives you an initial foot in the door with the players but you can lose that respect. Players are street-wise. Players today are willing to question you. If I think back to my era, I’d never have questioned a coach’s ideas and philosophy. The players nowadays have questions and you need to know the answers. They will challenge your authority.’’ A fascinating mixture of the diffident and confident, Scotland’s Under-17s coach wants to climb high. “In 10 years’ time I see myself winning the Champions League. It’s embarrassing possibly to say that publicly. It’s time for me to go public with that. That’s what I’m trying to achieve. I understand the chances of it are very, very slim but that’s the plan. At some point I am going to have to try and convince a club chairman to give me an opportunity.’’ He’s also coaching an even younger age-group, his three-year-old son Magnus. “I encourage him every day, every chance we get we are playing football. One of the few people he recognises on TV is Messi. He is completely immersed in it already. Even though I am conscious of how slim the chances of him being a top footballer are, it comes down to pure love of the game.” Like grandfather, like father, like son.
  4. Following the success of the First Annual Gersnet Dinner it has been suggested that the event be held more frequently than annually and that we should not wait a year for the next one, particularly as several members of the site were unable to attend the first one for a variety of reasons. The new football season kicks-off on the following dates: • Weekend of 26 July - First Round of the Scottish Challenge Cup • Weekend of ‎2 August - First Round of the Scottish League Cup • Weekend of 9 August - SPFL League season starts across all four divisions Leaving aside July as being a bit early (and it would be dependent on a home or away draw in any event), I’ve divided the broad date zones as follows: Early Season - August/September Autumn – October/November Christmas New Year Spring – February/ March End of Season – April/May Please vote for your preference. Note this is just for the NEXT dinner; so voting for Christmas/New Year say, does not preclude one later in the season as well. Once we get an idea of the most popular time of year we can wait till the fixtures are published and TV schedules are known to decide an exact date, time and venue. I’m working on the assumption that most if not all folk will want to stick with after a weekend match. Please post any other comments. Also anyone who wants to take over organising duties step right up.
  5. when we play any club who can do the basics, we we will ne found out. dreadful performance again.
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