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It was to become the stuff of legend, the type of story normally reserved for a Roy of the Rovers comic book sketch. Ranger’s manager Willie Waddell was to take the ultimate gamble, replacing his injured and iconic inspirational captain, John Greig, with a raw 16 year old youngster who had made his professional debut only weeks earlier against Cowdenbeath. It was a particularly brave decision given the setting was the 1970 Scottish League Cup Final and Rangers opponents were arch rivals, Celtic. 90 minutes later the manager’s decision was to be completely vindicated as the 16 year old Derek Johnstone scored the only goal of the game, sending the light blue legions amongst the 106,000 crowd into rapture and thus heralding the end of a 4 year trophy drought.

 

Who would argue that fortune does indeed favour the brave?

 

Today’s Rangers fans yearn for that kind of bravery amongst our current management. The highly publicised departure of young starlet Charlie Telfer and his criticism of the lack of opportunity for youngsters at Ibrox should set alarm bells ringing. Sour grapes or valid criticism?

 

Well despite League One being done and dusted early doors, Telfer only featured once, coming on as a substitute in the 4-0 defeat of Stenhousemuir. Was completing a season undefeated in a lower league really more important than the continual development of our youngsters? Alarmingly, the Telfer story is not an isolated one.

 

Last year, centre half Stuart Urquhart, a captain of the Scotland Under 17 side, having held his own at Dumbarton whilst on loan (2 divisions above Rangers at the time) chose to depart the club despite not having any clear destination. His subsequent snapping up by Steven Pressley at Coventry City, himself a product of the Rangers youth system, adds a touch of irony to a fast developing farce.

 

That orchestra of irony reached a crescendo this week with the departure of Lewis Macleod, one of our few “blooded youngsters,” in order to keep our club afloat.

 

Those of us at Ibrox yesterday, watching the toiling of Lee McCulloch, were left to wonder if a nurtured and blooded Gasparotto, may well have spared some of the raised blood pressure caused by the inadequacy of our failing captain. The same could be said of Sinnamon as an alternative to Foster or McKay instead of Smith.

 

In an age of “gardening leave” it’s clear our club is in dire need of a bold, green fingered horticulturist with a proven aptitude for the development of young seedlings.

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Just so you know, Stuart Urquhart left Coventry in August and is now with Dunfermline. But your point still stands.

 

 

Yep I was awae of that ASL, but the point I was making was about the culture within our club regarding youngsters rather than a criticism of our failure to spot potential talent.

 

I used Urquhart as an additional example to Telfer because he left despite having no clear alternative - alarming

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A Youth Set Up is ultimately a gamble.There are always a couple of issues as I see it-

 

1) It may not produces players good enough for the first team at the level we want to be at i.e.Premiership champions and doing well in Europe

2) How can you be sure were signing the best youths and those at other clubs arent betterthan ours ?

 

D'Art mentioned Steven Pressley. He came thro at Rangers but was never of the standard we'd hoped for.And if the lad Urquhart is so good why is he in the third tier of Scottish football?

So often nowadays a manager will want to recruit players who have gained experience elsewhere. Introducing youth into a first team is dificult at the best of times which is why I think putting the likes of McKay and Gallagher out on loan will be beneficial to Rangers in the longer term.Very few youths will get into the first team. We need to remember that.

Edited by RANGERRAB
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A Youth Set Up is ultimately a gamble.There are always a couple of issues as I see it-

 

1) It may not produces players good enough for the first team at the level we want to be at i.e.Premiership champions and doing well in Europe

2) How can you be sure were signing the best youths and those at other clubs arent betterthan ours ?

 

D'Art mentioned Steven Pressley. He came thro at Rangers but was never of the standard we'd hoped for.And if the lad Urquhart is so good why is he in the third tier of Scottish football?

So often nowadays a manager will want to recruit players who have gained experience elsewhere. Introducing youth into a first team is dificult at the best of times which is why I think putting the likes of McKay and Gallagher out on loan will be beneficial to Rangers in the longer term.Very few youths will get into the first team. We need to remember that.

 

Yes, but does it have to be that way? Remember the golden generation of ManU (Beckham, Scholes, Giggs etc?) That surely wasn't just down to luck but to a conscious decision to invest in youth. RFC should be looking to take promising talent from the lower Scottish leagues or grab players like Kenny McLean from St Mirren before big guns like Fleetwood and Brentford beat us to the punch. We can then build a transfer budget by selling on the best types for reasonable fees. Look at Southampton; they sold an entire team but have been enabled to buy good quality replacements.

Edited by alexscottislegend
sp.
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A Youth Set Up is ultimately a gamble.There are always a couple of issues as I see it-

 

1) It may not produces players good enough for the first team at the level we want to be at i.e.Premiership champions and doing well in Europe

2) How can you be sure were signing the best youths and those at other clubs arent betterthan ours ?

 

D'Art mentioned Steven Pressley. He came thro at Rangers but was never of the standard we'd hoped for.And if the lad Urquhart is so good why is he in the third tier of Scottish football?

So often nowadays a manager will want to recruit players who have gained experience elsewhere. Introducing youth into a first team is dificult at the best of times which is why I think putting the likes of McKay and Gallagher out on loan will be beneficial to Rangers in the longer term.Very few youths will get into the first team. We need to remember that.

bar the 12 youth who started games last year and the 15- 17 ex rangers youth who were playing for top tier teams in Europe. That doesn't include those playing in the championship in england
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Yes, but does it have to be that way? Remember the golden generation of ManU (Beckham, Scholes, Giggs etc?) That surely wasn't just down to luck but to a conscious decision to invest in youth. RFC should be looking to take promising talent from the lower Scottish leagues or grab players like Kenny McLean from St Mirren before big guns like Fleetwood and Brentford beat us to the punch. We can then build a transfer budget by selling on the best types for reasonable fees. Look at Southampton; they sold an entire team but have been enabled to buy good quality replacements.

 

Is Kenny McLean of the standard we want? I mean if the mighty Fleetwood are after him then that says it all does it not?

I think this only reinforces my point about producing players from a youth set up good enough to play at the level we want to be at. And that level is Premiership champions and in Europe beyond Christmas. Getting players for that level is easier IMO who have played for another club and whose level can be easier assessed. An untried youth is different and much harder although not impossible

Edited by RANGERRAB
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We're not really disagreeing actually. McLean is just an example, someone who could be a replacement for Lewis. To get players at the standard we want would require a sizeable transfer budget. One thing that must, categorically, end is the purchase of those into their late twenties or thirties who have had their chance; no more Steven Smiths, or going back, Ostenstads, Capucho etc.

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A Youth Set Up is ultimately a gamble.There are always a couple of issues as I see it-

 

1) It may not produces players good enough for the first team at the level we want to be at i.e.Premiership champions and doing well in Europe

2) How can you be sure were signing the best youths and those at other clubs arent betterthan ours ?

 

D'Art mentioned Steven Pressley. He came thro at Rangers but was never of the standard we'd hoped for.And if the lad Urquhart is so good why is he in the third tier of Scottish football?

So often nowadays a manager will want to recruit players who have gained experience elsewhere. Introducing youth into a first team is dificult at the best of times which is why I think putting the likes of McKay and Gallagher out on loan will be beneficial to Rangers in the longer term.Very few youths will get into the first team. We need to remember that.

a couple of things in reply. at the younger age groups (generally from 11,s to 15's Rangers youth teams are excellent and would indicate that they have been able to get their hands on among the best youngsters . after that teams like Dundee united, Aberdeen , Hamilton etc seem to get these lads good enough for first team football.

next up is this idea that very few youngsters will play for Rangers. Times have changed. Until the last few years that was probably the case although it didn't have to be more to do with the type of managers we had who could only work with finished pros as development was not in their skill set. we have been lower than these teams I mentioned earlier but still think we are big league big spenders.. unfortunately we kept the manager with the limited skill set and as a result completely missed the boat. the problems are so deep rooted at the club that only massive changes will remedy the situation.

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