Profile: Rangers’ new defensive anchor, Matt Crooks

By Richard Fillingham

At only 22, new Rangers’ signing Matt Crooks is 6’ tall and can either play at centre back, or as a holding midfield player, but personally, he is not tall enough for me to play at centre half for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, but fine to play in midfield for us. If, that is, he is good enough to hold down a starting place in our new look 2015-16 team.

When Matt was with Huddersfield, he went on loan to Accrington Stanley as a 20 year-old and made eight appearances for them before being called back to his parent club.  Accrington Stanley finally signed Matt as a free agent on an 18-month contract in October 2014, taking him up to the summer of 2016.

He has played in so many different positions throughout his young years, as he is a very versatile player as a defender, in midfield, a right winger and a striker. His manager John Coleman said:

“I think he gives us strength, as he can play in a lot of positions and I’m delighted with this signing. Sometimes you can be a victim of your own versatility and Matt’s keen not to do that.”

In 2014-15, Matt started the season with Huddersfield in the Championship before joining up with Accrington Stanley who play in League Two and he played in 22 games for them in his first season, at only 21.

So far this season Matt has played in 35 games and scored 8 goals until Sat. 25 March, when he picked up a bad ankle injury, which eventually led to him having an operation to sort the problem out. After successful surgery to his ankle, he is currently on the road to recovery, just in time to start pre-season training with his new team-mates at Rangers.

Playing in the at times rough English League Two, Matt has amassed plenty of bookings and this lets us know that he likes a tackle and is prepared to get stuck in, which should really please us Rangers supporters. I have to say that if he gets booked 12 times, which is one in every three games, down in England, what amount can we expect him to achieve up here with our inferior referees, who in general don’t really understand the art of tackling? Most refs believe that going in hard but fair is a foul and usually blow their whistle accordingly, upsetting both the players and their managers alike.

Most managers’ bookings, which inevitably lead to them being sent to the stand, are due 99% of the time because the referee has called it all wrong, and then made everything worse when people crack up with temper because of the ref’s incompetence in the first place.

I am sure that Mark Warburton and David Weir will warn Matt that it is not clever to pick up too many bookings which quickly leads to suspensions with the totting up system currently being used in the Premier League, where the standard of refereeing is absolutely appalling. If you celebrate a goal too much, they can book you, as happened to Andy Halliday, earlier in the season.

Matt may have to alter his game slightly to adapt to our referees, but with his overall talent, this extremely versatile player should have no problem playing in a young attacking team who can dominate most games they play in. I for one am looking forward to seeing him proud to wear the colours of Rangers next season.


  1. Definitely. Im looking forward to seeing this young lad. He has plenty of good reviews from down south and we all know what the magic hat can do.I'm confident he will be another great signing for us. WATP

  2. thats wrong he's 6'5, he's giant but he's too good to play cb cause this guy can score and play the final ball, i think he'll play in cm!

    • Accounts differ over his height and weight but Windass said he's a 6'5 monster so I'll take his word for it.He's not just a big blooterer though,he can play and I think we've got a result.A bad type of injury he got there so not sure when he can start training so hope no complications there contract wise.

  3. I'm really looking forward to next season,I think Crooks is going to be a great defensive midfielder but also looks like he can play any position exactly the type of player Warburton loves

  4. Matt Crooks is a giant young man. he is 6ft 4ins NOT 6ft.

    His manager describes him as "huge" and he is still filling out in bulk.

    I have watched him a bit on youtube. Great skill for a big lad. Good passer of the ball. Can play at centre back, defensive or attacking midfield.
    This young bloke is EXACTLY what Rangers need. He will become a huge favourite with the Rangers support. Same with Josh Windass. He'll score goals galore. The fans will love this guy. Of that, there is no doubt.

    • Matt is 6ft 4ins. He can be a giant in Scottish football because this young man has plenty of skill. He is a cracking prospect for MW. With our new recruits, next season is going to make this one look very ordinary.

  5. If you want to see some of what we've bought (allowing for some selective editing) look at

    I for one am impressed.

    The internet variously records him as 6 foot (the most common statement) or 6 foot 4. In the video he certainly looks big – and he can't half tackle.

    • Looks good in the edits, lets hope it's not a case of any howlers being edited out. Fingers crossed he'll be a real gem!

    • I tell u what he looks good in these vids so hopefully he will do well, I think he will play CB as Wilson is not up to it IMO he is lazy & seems to think now he has got his feet under the table he doesnt need to graft [ actually a few are getting like that] So maybe this big guy will shake things up. I reckon him Windass,hopefully the Scouse lad we will do well in the SPFL

  6. You say Matt is not tall enough at 6 foot to play in Central Defense. I think you need to check your facts. Matt is in fact 6ft 3inches tall according to his official player profile.

  7. According to matt crooks wikipedia he is 6ft 4in. So he is a big lad. bit of strength,power n height in the middle of the park jst wat we need.

  8. Judge Judy here. Matt Crooks is actually 7ft 8in. Nobody will dare come near him next season which makes him the perfect signing really.
    The only problem is that he might not fit onto the plane for the pre season USA trip. It's OK though as he can swim the Atlantic in 26 mins.
    On a serious note, checked out some youtube and I reckon he's the answer for next season. In Mark we do certainly trust!

  9. On another topic here now that Newcastle have been relegated. Exactly what is the English Championship rules on dual club ownership. I believe they are a lot stricter than the EPL. Can anyone clarify and is it a realistic possibility of getting rid of that leach Ashley from our club under these stricter regulations.

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