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Rangers kid Billy Gilmour is ‘destined to play in the first team before he’s 17

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THE 15-year-old won man of the match in Scotland’s 2-0 Victory Shield win over Northern Ireland and has huge potential.


AMID the gloom that has enveloped Scotland’s national team like an impenetrable fog there shone a few bright lights that may well illuminate a path back to international respectability.


The place was Edinburgh’s Oriam complex. The time may still be to come. The clock, however, has already started on the hopes of a next generation.


Scotland’s Under-16s beat their Northern Irish rivals 2-0 on Sunday thanks to goals from Hamilton’s Taylor Wilson and Zac Butterworth of Rangers.


The focus of course remained firmly trained on Celtic wonderkid Karamoko Dembele, with the SFA eager to fast-track the 13-year-old sensation after England had invited him down to train at their HQ, St George’s Park.


Dembele never made it on to the pitch but the ones who did impressed the small crowd at the complex and the thousands who watched the live stream.


And none more so than Billy Gimour. The Rangers midfielder won the man-of-the-match award with a performance of guile, technique and awareness beyond his 15 years.


One influential coaching figure within the Scottish game who was at the Oriam remarked, "the boy’s destined to play in Rangers first team before he’s 17".


Gilmour has already shown signs for Rangers’ Under-17s that he has a huge talent.


The club has been criticised for results at age-group levels such as the Under-20s but head of youth Craig Mulholland and first-team manager Mark Warburton has placed a greater emphasis on accelerating the development of Rangers’ youngsters than results.


So their philosophy is to play 15 year olds in under-17 and under-20 games and if that means fewer wins – Rangers are 12th in the Development League with just two victories in the first nine games – then so be it. Their picture is bigger.


Scotland Under-16s coach Brian McLaughlin picked up on this theme after the win over Northern Ireland: He said: "The key for any young footballer is to get better. Sometimes boys outgrow their age group.


"There's a few boys in their squad whose clubs are keen to push them out of their comfort zone and Billy Gilmour is one of them.


"International football definitely takes you out of your comfort zone because you don't know the people you are playing against and that's what you need. It will make you better."


Record Sport reporter and former Scotland youth international Gordon Parks covered the game and he said: "Overall, I’m very positive about what I saw. The future looks bright, with players using the ball well.


"Gilmour looks an impressive prospect. But as for the other players many of their touches were good, their movement was excellent, too. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that."


Earlier this year Gilmour signed a boot deal with addidas, an unusual occurrence due to his age.


Scotland next face Wales on Tuesday, before entertaining the Republic of Ireland side on Friday.



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I have known for a few years now that Billy Gilmour is the jewel in the Rangers crown. What I didn't know is that he also has made his debut for the U20's as well back in April. No fanfare from Rangers, no publicity and no press - which also meant no pressure on Billy Gilmour other than from himself. Compare and contrast across the city..... I would also contend that being 15 is not quite the leap physically as being 13 is.


Man U were sniffing about Gilmour a couple of seasons ago, along with a few other EPL teams.

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I won't get too carried away until it is confirmed his first professional contract is with us.


Indeed, similar situation to the 13 yr old Dembele at Celtic. I have more hopes Billy Gilmour will sign with us than Dembele will sign with Celtic. Rumours abound that Dembele is already a Man City player in all but name.

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Indeed, similar situation to the 13 yr old Dembele at Celtic. I have more hopes Billy Gilmour will sign with us than Dembele will sign with Celtic. Rumours abound that Dembele is already a Man City player in all but name.


Agreed. I had heard that unlike other players at his age group, Dembele had only signed a one year contract rather than the 3-year contract that was standard at that age.


Aside from the fact I wasn't aware players at that age signed contracts per se, I'm sure its more of a training agreement, it certainly looks like the lad has eyes on moving away from Celtic at the very least. Apparently the lad absolutely loved going away with England and had a great time last week.

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