or to join or start a new Discussion

67 Comments
Article Rating 5 Stars

Bridging The Gap

Morning Troops, I read over the weekend that Rangers Under 15s won a prestigious youth tournament in Germany that featured the likes of Dortmund, Spurs and Stuttgart as well as Liepzig who have invested fortunes in becoming one of the best sides in Germany.

Lots of people were getting excited that it showed we can still produce good players and that the future would be bright for Rangers and Scotland, but I am a bit more sceptical. History tells me that in a few years time some of these boys might not even make it as footballers never mind with Rangers, whilst the players from the clubs they beat at this level could be full Internationals. It is not that I doubt Rangers will give them a good start, but for some reason between the age of 15 where they are now and 20 it just doesn't work here.

Why do we think this is? People talk about distractions of drink etc which is valid but more than ever now kids at youth academies I think are more educated and know better. Looking at many of the current youths at Rangers and Celtic I think they are all professional enough and don't fall in to the same categories as many in years gone by.

There is also the physical thing where it is said we go for big strong players instead of the technically gifted, which means at youth level we are bigger and stronger than opponents but when they catch up physically later we are miles behind technically. Again though looking at the photo of the Rangers 15s they don't look the biggest.

I had a look at the last group who were touted for big things and that was our 17s from 2/3 years ago who made the Euro Semi Finals after putting out Germany and Portugal but safe to say none have really made the progress expected. Then when you see two of the brightest young players in Scotland at the moment - Tierney and McKay - and note that neither were really among the elite at a youth level it makes you wonder how it works.

There has been lots of work the last few years started by Mark Wotte and now with Malky McKay over improving the quality of player we produce. Part of this has been creating elite groups that allow a pool of players at each age group to be identified as best of the best and worked on over a period of years to become top players. Are we now ready to embrace a new age where we might finally catch up with the rest of Europe?

From a Rangers perspective I am optimistic there might finally be a change in our approach to young players. There have been genuine changes at youth level and a targeted strategy focusing on the quality of development which we haven't previously had. As an example the average age of our under 20 side is 17 and amongst the youngest in the league whilst those at the older side of that group are out on loan playing first team football. Hopefully the success the under 15s have had is not isolated and some of these boys continue that progress in the next 5 years.

posted 1 week, 2 days ago

comment by Silver (U6112)
posted 6 minutes ago
A flange doc friend of mine made a point of asking me to have words with master silver because he is seeing an inordinate amount of young girls that have thrown themselves at Celtic and Rangers boys and got up the duff. There does seem too many fathers in the 17/18/19s? Crazy.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Good to know we actually have some boys coming through who can score

posted 1 week, 2 days ago


Seems they *can* hit a cow's erse.

comment by Silver (U6112)

posted 1 week, 2 days ago

comment by Silver (U6112)
posted 43 minutes ago
As recent as 2 years ago Celtic were burned by a black lad that claimed he was younger. Murn's missus had taught the lad iirc. Crazy thing is all the dads are looking at this boy saying 'no way is he that age group' and you got to wonder why the club didn't confirm? We called him the fridge. He was found out when repeatedly refused to bring his passport for tournament verification. Plays at Thistle now, I believe? He just ran through CBs.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I've remembered - it was another lad that came in at the same time that Murn's missus taught. Another sad episode that one and he is no longer at Celtic either.

comment by Silver (U6112)

posted 1 week, 2 days ago

On the education stuff there was a lad that's taken up a 'soccer' scholarship at one of the 'Ivy league +' establishments in the US. 3x times he was offered a pro contract and it went all the way up to Pistol that they couldn't understand why a lad would turn them down.

They had no idea that the 'full ride' scholarship value plus training dwarfs what they pay their youths - plus you get an education. Lad is playing in MLS U23 league through the summer and invited to train with a top Spanish side through the winter all in his first year. Games across the states, crowds in 10,000s.

posted 1 week, 2 days ago

I like that they train dwarfs

posted 1 week, 2 days ago

comment by Silver (U6112)
posted 32 minutes ago
On the education stuff there was a lad that's taken up a 'soccer' scholarship at one of the 'Ivy league +' establishments in the US. 3x times he was offered a pro contract and it went all the way up to Pistol that they couldn't understand why a lad would turn them down.

They had no idea that the 'full ride' scholarship value plus training dwarfs what they pay their youths - plus you get an education. Lad is playing in MLS U23 league through the summer and invited to train with a top Spanish side through the winter all in his first year. Games across the states, crowds in 10,000s.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

The Americans do sport so well that they will eventually crack this soccer lark. Plus with the USA the most likely location for a 48 team world cup no doubt they will be aiming to be in a position to challenge and win it by then.

posted 1 week, 2 days ago

comment by Timmys' jobby guzzler (U1850)
posted 34 minutes ago
I like that they train dwarfs
----------------------------------------------------------------------

posted 1 week, 2 days ago

On the op...

I think its a shed load more simple than we think

Our best u15s are 15 and 14 years old

Other clubs best 14 and 15 year olds are playing u18s

We arent playing against like for like.

posted 1 week, 1 day ago

Your right Simon. My lad went to Qatar with the U18s in November for a tournament and has played a few games for them this season.

posted 1 week, 1 day ago

On the plus side like his dad he is a ginger so that might limit his options

++++

So Silver is Ginger and Ginger is Silver

What are you tims like

Sign in if you want to comment
RATE THIS ARTICLE
Rate Breakdown
5
1 Vote
4
0 Votes
3
0 Votes
2
0 Votes
1
0 Votes

Average Rating: 5 from 1 vote

ARTICLE STATS
Day
Article RankingNot Ranked
Article ViewsNot Available
Average Time(mins)Not Available
Total Time(mins)Not Available
Month
Article Ranking461/500
Article Views731
Average Time(mins)2.33
Total Time(mins)1544.33