Durrant dismissal; what is the future for Rangers’ coaches?

 Richard Fillingham

62-year-old Rangers goalkeeping coach Jim Stewart is a former Scottish football internationalist, who had a quality club career playing in goal for Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock, Middlesbrough, St Mirren and our very own Rangers during a long successful spell in football.

He came to Ibrox as the goalkeeping coach from Hearts in 2007 and also continued in his role as goalkeeper coach for the national team under Alex McLeish. He took over the role at Ibrox that became available following the surprise departure of Billy Thomson.

Surely the time is right for Rangers to bring in a younger, enthusiastic, more athletic and forward-thinking goalkeeping coach who knows all the latest techniques required to achieve the very best goalie results in 2016?

What is expected of keepers nowadays? The answer is height and timing. I am fed up saying that we require a very tall keeper – one who is good at cutting out cross balls. Is there anyone out there listening to me?

Wes Foderingham almost got away with being our number one goalkeeper last year in the lower standard Scottish Championship. But I am really sorry to admit that he is one of the worst goalkeepers I have had to suffer watching in a Rangers jersey. We are used to much better and we will need a far superior keeper if we have any chance of challenging for the title next season.

In fairness to Wes, he cost us nothing and is good with the ball at his feet – with good distribution, and on occasion, making some good saves – but he is SO WEAK at cross balls, which is our major downfall at corners and free kicks. He has to be deposed as our no. 1 keeper, and then we can see if a new coach could make him any better for the future.

And therein is the point I am making is – if our very successful management team of Mark Warburton, along with Davie Weir and the wily old fox Frank McParland can pull the trigger on a legend like 49 year-old Durrant, is anybody’s coaching job safe at Ibrox now?

There is indeed some conjecture whether or not Mark had told Durrant in person about his departure – or was it left to someone else to inform him of the shock decision, to replace him immediately, without notice? It was certainly one that came right out of the blue and seemingly devastated the long time Rangers legend.

Is 57-year-old youth coach Billy Kirkwood the next on the list to be sacrificed by “the big three”, who probably want all their own team coaches to be at Rangers? They certainly make all their football decisions by a unanimous agreement system that has a habit of producing all the right results and it is no secret that I am a huge admirer of the three-man team, all of whom deliver superbly in their jobs. The result of their efforts is a massive turnaround for the good fortune of Rangers.

Rangers’ youth policy has NEVER been close to being a success and it is about time that Mark & co (as I should start calling the big three) finally do something positive to try and repair all the mistakes that have been notoriously made to the youth programme. The scouting system at Ibrox had previously been abysmal and a scandal, for such a high profile side like Rangers.

A totally neglected youth system that is supposedly designed to promote from within, has produced so little talent, to create any kind of discussion.

Personally, I am delighted that everything at Rangers is being scrutinized at the moment to see where continuing improvements can be made at every level of the club. Rangers hopefully, can no longer be classified as a team of “jobs for the boys.”


  1. Think your maybe wrong about our goal keeper coach. Even craig Gordon admired after the penaltys that Stewart had gave foderingham a list on his water bottle about what Celtic players shoot what what way. He seems to be a very switched on and prepared coach so I don't see him going anyway when even our biggest rivals talk him up

  2. A point about tall goalkeepers they may or may not be good at taking cross balls ,but they also can have problems getting down to low shots .Andy Goram and Kloss were not tall but they were fantastic goalkeepers

  3. I am listening to your comments richard…what we really need is a goalkeeper the likes of gerry dawson…who would jump for high crosses and let the ball run down his arm to clutch it in his armpit…I need to wake up!…there isnt any such keepers in the modern game…but seriously…you are correct richard…the gers need a guy that can compete for corners and free kicks…if not…Rangers will be in trouble…anyway richard you have given us all a reason to think …keep up the good work my friend…we will prevail!!!

  4. Hate knocking a current player as I'm sure you do to but Wes does need to go. He's simply not up to the standard required I'm afraid. Don't know about our keeper has to be tall. As others have said Goram Klos even Woods wasn't huge but they all had outstanding shot stopping ability as well as personalities that spread confidence in their teams. This is not the case with Wes at the moment. He needs to get A LOT better very quickly or we need to replace our no1 because the prem will highlight his weaknesses far more than the championship and the championship exposed them plenty.

  5. I think the NI Goalkeeper may have played his way into the Rangers team after last nights performance[Believe he is no longer wanted at the Accies, Dunno why?] I would like to see something done about the youth policy though as I cant think of a decent one we have produced, Apart from McKay & then he was sent on loan all over the place. Warbs is supposed to be hands on about everything so hopefully he will gte it sorted,

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