Following years of Celtic’s infinitely superior youth systems, it’s Rangers who can be proud of Auchenhowie after the recently-announced U21 Scotland squad included 6 Rangers players and just one Celtic.
Stephen Kelly, Lewis Mayo, Josh McPake, Brian Kinnear, Glenn Middleton and Ben Williamson all make the Scotland cut as does former Ranger Zak Rudden, while Celtic are able to contribute just one player in Stephen Welsh to the squad.
It really does show a sudden change in the past year that Rangers’ Academy is finally starting to produce some quality youngsters, youngsters who are now closing in on a senior career in the game, while Celtic now languish way behind with just one paltry selection.
It reflects the sea-change in Scottish football we’ve seen the past 12 months which have led to a complete shift from Parkhead to Ibrox in terms of the leading football force in the country, and now it’s demonstrated at the lower levels with so many youth players getting the call.
Are these lads good enough to make the grade at Ibrox permanently? Time will of course tell, and the standards in Govan are now so high that it’s very hard for even the best kids to prove themselves.
But Stevie will definitely be watching this summer to see how many of the kids stand out, and maybe they have a big role to play in Rangers’ future.
We shall see.