Ibrox youth chief wants ‘more’ from Auchenhowie

Ibrox youth chief wants ‘more’ from Auchenhowie
The boss of the youth academy at Ibrox....

Craig Mulholland has been giving some good insight into Auchenhowie recently, and one of the most telling comments he made was thus:

“It’s not part of the business model we ever want as we want to retain our best talent and get them to the first team as there is even more value there but in every academy in the world we will always have players leave as part of player trading.”

He is talking there about selling kids, and how ideally it’s not something the Academy wants to do.

Now, regulars will recall our piece from yesterday scathingly criticising the club for overlooking the Academy products – it’s not down to poor standards from the various youth levels, but an endemic culture at Ibrox of ignoring the youngsters in favour of senior players.

You all agreed with our stance and disappointment that this continues despite the Billy Gilmour example, and of course it pretty much repeated the past few days in the case of Nathan Young-Coombes.

But Mulholland insists that’s not the aim – that the Academy wants to rear quality kids and have them break into the seniors. In fact, it benefits the club hugely to do that because lads like Nathan Patterson already have significant values attached to them, and that is naturally more lucrative to Rangers.

But, despite its potential, and what Mulholland says, it still doesn’t happen – the club, whether it’s Stevie, Warburton, Ped the Ted or whatever manager is in charge, discourages youth from making its break into the senior squad, by allowing only token benchings now and then with occasional cameos.

But clearly Mulholland wants more – he wants kids he’s worked with and seen bloomed into young adults being given a real crack of the senior whip.

But then, perhaps the Academy’s purpose isn’t to create senior players at all?

Since it opened in 2001 Auchenhowie has only ‘created’ a handful of players who broke through – Barry Ferguson, Allan McGregor, Charlie Adam and one or two others.

One can’t help wondering if Rangers just aren’t interested in developing youth players for the senior setup.

Regardless of what Mulholland wants.

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  1. We were under far too much pressure last season to deliver 55 to blood young players. You saw what happened in the cups when we stepped away from our first pick teams. We did manage to pull through Nathan Patterson so it wasn’t all bad. One like him every season would be a success.

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