This morning’s reveal about youth numbers and Rangers’ ridiculous disinterest in the kids really is depressing. It’s depressing, frustrating and frankly makes us angry.
Rangers have a world-class academy, have had since ’99.
Yet since that same year we can count on one hand the number of kids to break through and be given a real chance to become club assets.
Barry Ferguson, Allan McGregor, and at a stretch, Lewis Macleod, David Bates and Barrie McKay (and the last two weren’t even strictly ours). If you can think of others, add them to comments.
That is literally it – we want to count Ross McCrorie but he’s away on loan, like all the rest.
No wonder Billy Gilmour went to England – he’d be on loan right now at Alloa if he’d remained at Ibrox – the only reason we gave Leon King a deal was to stop negative reaction at another kid being dumped. We want to believe he’ll make it into the first team but our track record is to sign someone else.
We’re sorry if we’re sounding really negative in this piece, but we want to see the expensive investment in Auchenhowie pay off, with valuable players being reared and either sold at a big profit like Tierney over there, or established in our first team.
Instead we sign other teams’ youth either on loan or permanently – even Greg Docherty, despite being one of our own, is a youth product from Hamilton Accies. And he got dumped too!
Instead the response we’re seeing from many fans is ‘trust in Stevie’ which ignores the wider issue of why our youth gets ignored in the first place.
There is quality in our ranks, plenty of our kids do well for themselves away from Ibrox, but they’re not allowed to for US.
Look at Nathan Young-Coombes. Another talented kid who’s in his 18th year – he’s not a child in football years, yet he’s never even trained with the seniors the best we know, far less been on the bench, even less played.
We just don’t seem to have faith in our youth players, even when we were in the Third Division and the whole youth department was by default the best team in the league.
And those stats this morning sums up the hypocrisy.
Don’t give us the ‘trust in Stevie’ response, it’s blind and avoids the issue entirely.
He tells us how important youth is, but doesn’t play any of it. Instead it gets sold or loaned out. And he’s not the first manager like that.
Under Gerrard though, NO ONE has broken through. Even Pedro gave us David Bates. And we signed him from Raith! The closest Stevie managed was giving Glenn Middleton a few matches, but that one collapsed as well.
You can chant ‘trust in Stevie’ all you like, but it doesn’t alter the fact the youth system isn’t being used and probably won’t be under him.
Or, sadly, anyone else.